Government needs to be humane, ‘we can’t be like robots’ - Sooliman

Government needs to be humane, ‘we can’t be like robots’ - Sooliman

Gift of the Givers founder, Imtiaaz Sooliman has emphasised the importance of humanity within government departments and officials for South Africans to be served better.


Imtiaaz Sooliman

Sooliman was speaking at the annual Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) lecture on Saturday where he covered public ethics, morality and democracy.


“As individuals, we need to understand that we have to have humanity in us. We can't be like robots. A lot of people in government are like robots, they don’t understand the spiritual part, they don’t have the compassionate part. Old people can't wait for hours in the queue in Home Affairs where there is compassion for those people,” said Sooliman. 


Over the past few years, the Gift of the Givers found favour with South Africans especially during humanitarian crises in the country that included the Knysna fires, borehole drilling at public hospitals, and the Covid-19 pandemic. 


This year the organisation helped drill a borehole at the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child hospital when the government was unable to do so.

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This was after water outages ripped through the area in the City of Johannesburg in June. 


Sooliman says in times of crisis, the government should think “out of the box” to better serve its citizens. 


“Government needs to think out of the box, they need to understand three words: urgency, emergency, and disaster,” he says. 


“In those situations, we don’t follow rules, we do what we need to do what’s supposed to be done immediately. When a person in the Eastern Cape says they need water, don’t tell them you’re building the day in three years’ time. You have to tell them what you're going to do now. You need to understand the context of urgency, emergency, and disaster.”

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