Press statement from the South African Sociological Association on the current situation in the country

    Dear South African Sociological Association Members and Community,

    The South African Sociological Association watched with dismay the events unfolding in the

    country over the last week. As an organisation, we deplore all acts of violence, looting and

    social disorder. We urge all citizens to please be law abiding. As an organisation of people

    who focus on the study of society, with a view towards improving it, we know that outbursts

    of the nature we have witnessed in the last week are not spontaneous explosions. They are

    the offspring of repressed frustrations, economic pains and social inequality. Therefore, as

    we urge lawfulness on the side of the citizens, we plead with the government not to allow

    a good crisis to go to waste.

    The government has a moral obligation to use this crisis to speak to the underlying frustrations

    of the people. Mere deployment of power to quell the looting is only a band aid. Concerted

    effort must be made to use this crisis as a springboard for revitalising social engagement, as

    well as ensuring that adequate care and support is provided for all. We have heard a lot of

    calls for things to return to normal. That will be a very bad idea. Normal is the continuation

    of the poverty, unemployment and inequality that wrecks the lives of millions and millions,

    destroying hope, trust, and the future of our youth, country and continent. The time has

    come for government, capital and civil society to have the difficult conversations that need

    to be had. It is time to move away from the untenable direction the country is heading towards.

    Warm regards, 

    SASA Exec and Council