Adriaan Basson | No jokes – SA is a country of heroes without capes

Today, we shift our focus to the goodness in South Africa.

It has been an age-old tradition for news publications to publish spoofs or jokes on 1 April. This year, News24 won’t publish any false stories about Table Mountain becoming a casino resort or the Springboks changing their emblem to a hadada.

Instead, each journalist working at News24, myself included, was tasked to find one person, group or organisation who inspires you and to tell their stories.

Today, we dedicate News24’s coverage to those people who keep South Africa together. The thousands of women and men who give us hope; who fix and build; who cook and knit and teach and knock this country into shape every day.

Our country’s collective mood has been low for some time. Ten wasted years of corruption and a struggling global economy, aided by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have dampened our spirits. Add to that the ANC’s governance failures and the inability of the opposition to inspire; it is no surprise that we rank very high in global unhappiness polls.

But if the prophets of doom are correct – that we are on the precipice of implosion – who keeps things together? It’s them, the “moral underground”, as Professor Jonathan Jansen once referred to the aunties and uncles keeping South Africa afloat.

GoodNews24: Read all the feel good stories

Today, we shift our focus to the goodness in South Africa. To people like Jade Seedat, Clinton Odayar, Singatha Mbobo and Zandile Ndhlovu, who wake up every day and think how they can use their skills and little resources to make South Africa a better, safer and more prosperous place.

There are thousands, no millions, more Jades, Clintons and Zandiles out there, making a difference every day. They are not politicians with large egos or celebrities with even larger social media accounts. They are heroes without capes, who do the right thing, every day, because they believe in the future of South Africa.

The majority of South Africans don’t have golden passports or foreign bank accounts. The question is not “should I stay, or should I go”, but “how do I make sure that I leave the country a better place when my innings here is over?”

As South Africa’s largest news publisher, we have a responsibility to tell and highlight these stories of good people doing extraordinary things.

From tomorrow, we will continue to expose corruption, highlight service delivery failure, call out private sector greed and expose the gruesome crimes plaguing our nation. This remains our core role and responsibility as the nation’s watchdog.

But we will also endeavour to balance our coverage of everything that is wrong in our land with everything that is beautiful, precious and hopeful. We owe it to the nation to showcase the best in us.

Today, we salute every South African who lives a good life, stays true to the values of the Constitution, and uses their power and influence to make a tangible difference, small or big, in their network or community.

You are our true heroes.

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