Why can't you throw that paper in the bin?

My Dear Fellow South Africans

What have we become? I look around and see filth, I see degradation, I see rubbish everywhere, paper, plastic, bottles, excrement, bits of concrete … as I drive down the road I see another taxi driver throwing an empty packet out the window and I feel the anger rising inside me and the need to go ask him why? Why did he have to throw it out the window, why not just use it as a rubbish bag in his taxi and then throw the full packet in the bin?

I drive past squatter camps and see children playing in the piles of rubbish that have collected on the sides and I wonder how can a person live like that? Where is their pride? Do they not understand that that pile of rubbish just makes their situation worse? Why can’t they collectively come together as a community and clean it up? We are so quick to jump on the strike band wagon, which really does nothing for anyone, but no-one seems to give a damn about the filth they’re living in?

So often I see my fellow South Africans just drop rubbish on the ground right where they are standing; what would it take to walk a few metres to the dustbin, or to put the paper in your pocket until you get to a dustbin?  

Why can you not just throw the rubbish in a bin? Is it a culture thing? Were you not brought up to throw rubbish away? How can you live amongst that filth – have you no pride?

Was it like this during the apartheid era, what did the homelands look like back then? Was there rubbish strewn everywhere, or did you actually take the time to clean up? Is it a new generation thing who believe they are entitled to not have keep things neat and tidy?

Or is it like my abrupt friend said to me the other day, “Why should we do anything when people from Denmark or Canada or some other first world country will come clean up?”