Project Butterfly is –
- A strategic project to make South Africa a better place, to live, work and do business,
- by drastically reducing road collisions, and
- thus saving lives, minimising economic losses, and building social functionality, through
- an effective law enforcement model.
The Problem –
- Delinquent and irresponsible road-users;
- Ineffectual law enforcement; and
- No current systemic solution.
Consequences of the Problem –
♦ The obvious –
- Collisions: tens of thousands – cars, trucks, buses, taxis, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians…
- Fatalities: 18,000 a year – 50 deaths a day; that’s four football teams, every day
- Injuries: 250,000 – 450,000 a year, many with life-changing traumas; an entire city
♦ The less obvious, often ignored, but strategically the most concerning –
- Economic losses: R300 billion+; that makes it R850,000,000 a day, or one modern hospital every day, or 25 new schools, each day…
- Social dysfunctionality; and
- State failure.
The Solution is…
a public-private partnership project to test the hypothesis that a systemic enforcement of road-use laws (supported through multi-point information sharing, capacity building, and data- collection, analyses and application) can remedy the problem.
Karoo takes its own advice seriously, thus Project Butterfly is one of its practical solutions to a seemingly intractable problem.
Making South Africa a better place to live, and to work in, to be proud of; and to be a success.
Project Butterfly has multiple objectives that wrap into strategic, operational, and tactical layers, they are to:
- Minimise road-user collisions;
- Save lives and avoid injuries;
- Reduce economic losses;
- Cut down the pervasive culture of corruption;
- Curb lawlessness;
- Cultivate a culture of personal responsibility;
- Build credible law-enforcement services; and
- Reverse trends in social dysfunctionality; and
- Prevent state failure.
Together, these contribute to making South Africa a better place to live and work in, and to be a success.
At a first-order level the immediate objective of Project Butterfly is to conduct a Pilot Study of the Enforcement Model.
The lessons and learnings from this microcosm study will be developed in a manner that will enable the Model to be scaled up to a national level, and be used as a best-practices model in other countries that face equivalent conditions.
Law, without ENFORCEMENT, is no law at all.
Being safe at home, in our communities, at work and anywhere between is a right.
The South African Constitution is clear; (i) all have a right to protection and the benefit of the law, and (ii) all have the right to be free from all forms of violence.
(1) Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.
Freedom and security of the person
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right –
(c) to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources;
In instances where the law is not enforced effectively, resulting in the consequences witnessed by road-collisions, then the state is delinquent in safeguarding the rights of citizens.
It is not the case that South Africa does not have suitable laws to govern road-user behaviours, but that they are not enforced. A global survey conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) rated South Africa’s road-user laws an 8/10, but enforcement at 3/10.
Furthermore, data is clear that more than 90% of road crashes are caused by human behaviour.
If the problem is to be addressed, behaviour needs to be adjusted.
While there are other worthy and necessary interventions, such as general road-use literacy and education, effective licensing of drivers and vehicles and others, the primary intervention to redress matter in the current circumstances is enforcement.
In instances where the state fails to comply with the Constitution, it must be persuaded to comply, and in certain cases assisted by citizen activism.
In the context of Project Butterfly enforcement of the law contains the following elements:
All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers.
South Africa is at war with itself; it is a civil war…
Let’s put this statement in perspective by reflecting on only one of the consequences of the problem – the number of fatalities – by comparing them in three different ways:
- With real ‘shooting’ wars;
- With the number of people murdered in SA; and
- With road-user fatalities in another country that SA is often compared with.
There are two main reasons why South Africa is in a pickle regarding road-user collisions:
One: The primary reason is lack of personal responsibility by the vast majority of South Africans. We show no responsibility towards ourselves, others, the law, our country, or simply doing what is right. The problem is not at the margin any longer, it is at the core; and the margin too is beginning to fall apart.
The evidence is clear that South Africans in general are far beyond the point at which they respond to ad-hoc appeals to, ‘please obey the rules of the road’.
Two: This brings us to the second reason; lack of effective law enforcement.
A fundamental responsibility of any government is to keep citizens safe, from others and each other. If they fail at this they betray their legitimacy.
It is naïve at best, and delinquent at worse for a government to resort to imploring citizens to ‘be good’ in the face of a civil war.
In South Africa where we so easily state in our paper promises, that:
We say to one another: I cannot be without you. Without you this South African community is an incomplete community. Without one single person… we are not the best that we can be.
Influential Leadership is constructed around the principle that it is our behaviour that counts; that tells the whole story of who and what we are, Sadly, as citizens we fall short, and our government fails us too.
Having responsibility is the duty or obligation to act. Taking responsibility is acknowledging and accepting the choices you have made, the actions you have taken, and the results they have led to. Responsibility is an essential element of integrity; it is the congruence of what you think, what you say, and what you do. Responsibility is essential for reciprocity, trust, and for maintaining symmetric relationships. http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/responsibility.htm
There seems to be no exception to careless and negligent behaviour; everyone is there – no matter the age, gender, race, religion, vehicle type – SUV, mini-bus taxi, mom’s taxi, van, motorcycle, cyclists and pedestrian – time of day, locality, level of sobriety, or the size of the jobs we do – we’re all guilty– we have all sunk to the lowest common denominator.
Every intersection is a life-threatening hazard; it is a sure bet that most drivers will not stop as required. Mobile phones are used endlessly to exacerbate distracted driving conditions. Seatbelts are for decoration – especially for the children that adults say they love. Crossing solid lines, U-turns anywhere, stopping wherever, hazard lights only mean ‘anything goes’…it is anarchy.
To cap it all – dare a third party call out any such infringement, and they become the scoundrel.
Sound laws, including those that manage the use of roads, are for the benefit of everyone; they enable a transport system to function effectively for social and economic benefits. Those citizens who undermine the law undermine their fellow citizens’ rights directly and indirectly. This cannot be tolerated.
If we care to see South Africa work, it starts with each of us; first as a responsible citizen, and secondly as a law-enforcer, if that is our job.
It is a citizen’s business to uphold the law through compliance with the law, and those obligated to enforce the law, to do so, without fear or favour.
If we cannot be responsible and respectful citizens; then it is the responsibility, nay, the obligation, of the authorities entrusted with enforcement to do their job. If they fail to enforce the law, then they must be held accountable– administratively and politically.
If the authorities whose obligation it is to enforcement the law are also delinquent in doing so, then there’s but a mere short stagger into a dysfunctional state.
Project Butterfly is a solution to the problem, addressing road-user behaviours though effective enforcement.
The world needs new leadership, but the new leadership is about working together
Project Butterfly is designed as a Public-Private Partnership.
Due to the scale, scope and objectives of Project Butterfly it requires a suitable consortium of partners across the public, private, social and multi-lateral sectors.
Government is the primary executive partner as it makes and enforces the law on behalf of citizens, the electorate. The Project Butterfly Pilot Study is designed for execution at local level. In the subsequent phases, provincial and national spheres of government will be added to the mix.
The private sector is able to create leverage through capacity enablement, communications and project management
The social sector is able to harness project innovation, start-up financing, project development and co-ordination.
Multi-lateral entities, in this instance, the World Bank in the form of the Global Road Safety Fund, bring to bear capacity enablement, best practice advice, and funding. Project Butterfly is applying for funding for the Pilot Study.
The National Development Plan specifically recognises the importance and value of active and involved citizens, encouraging their participation.
ACTIVE CITIZENRY AND LEADERSHIP
The government needs citizens to speak out when things are going wrong… [and] strengthen the work of the state by speaking out against malpractice or poor performance. Participatory governance is a central tenet of post-apartheid legislation on local governance… Citizen participation has an important role to play in hold[ing] the government to account for the quality of services it delivers.
Karoo has completed a consolidated project proposal, which forms the basis of conversations with public and private sector entities, including provincial and local governments and agencies, and some of the largest corporations in South Africa. Some of these conversations are ongoing.
However, it would be remiss of me if I did not share my disappointment and frustration with some responses from both sectors.
Nonetheless, there are pockets of people and institutions throughout South Africa that not only believe in a better life for more people, but want to help to make South Africa successful, and a place where people are valued and excellence is pursued. Many are already toiling in a variety of ways to prevent further social decline and leading the way towards a more inclusive, just, responsible and high performing Republic.
I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
Karoo is on a mission to find those individuals and organisations that want to influence a better life for more people, and can support the objectives and efforts of Project Butterfly.
If you or your organisation fits the bill; if you want to exercise your Influential Leadership, please contact me and let’s make South Africa successful.