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All I want for Christmas…by Neville Berkowitz

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2015 has been a busy year for everyone. We at HomeTimes want to know what industry heavyweights are thinking about as the year draws to a close. Some are concerned about buyers, others sellers, and still others society in general. But what is it that they would like to see in their Christmas stocking for a better 2016?

Welcome to All I want for Christmas according to:

Neville Berkowitz, property economist and adviser to HomeBid

Neville Berkowitz,  founder of HomeBid.

Neville Berkowitz, founder of HomeBid.

“My wish for the country is for South Africans of all races, religions and creeds to understand that giving is far better than receiving.

It is not possible to draw water from a well without the water first being put into the well. We have become a nation of takers of benefits, legally and illegally, and expecting the person next door to keep on giving these benefits.

There is a corruption of values that has become the norm in South Africa. When Nelson Mandela was president we shared and contributed to his value system and we were a “light unto the nations”. Our political transition was lauded worldwide.

Today there is a corruption of values that robs Peter to pay Paul and if you keep giving a little bit to Paul then you stay in power.

Power is seen as the key to the bank vault of taxpayers’ money and there is little, if any, true accountability and responsibility for ensuring that this money is well spent, and accounted for, in building up everyone in South Africa.

The people at the grass roots are angry at the way that this power has enriched the wealthy few in power and has not been seen to benefit these grass roots people who vote to keep these wealthy few in power.

We need a political leader who brings the values of Nelson Mandela back into power. We need a country that wants to give capital and sweat equity back to build up the country for all – not just to enrich the privileged few. We all need to provide water for the well, so to speak.

We need to ensure that everyone, regardless of colour, race, religion or creed, sees the other as their brother and becomes their brother’s keeper.

This is a country of great promise and potential but even the most beautiful garden will fall into ruin once robbed of its flowers and devoid of replanting, watering, maintenance and loving care.

We need to become proud again of being South Africans as we were when Madiba was our leader. With his integrity we held our heads up high and were admired by the world.

It’s not too late to ensure that all our children’s children live, work and play together side by side, ensuring that they are their brothers’ keepers.

My wish is for a leader with vision and commitment based on integrity, who has the confidence of the country behind them; and for a mutual commitment to ensure we all give first before those who need to take have something to take, equally and fairly, so all may live together in peace and prosperity.

The door to such a peaceful and prosperous South Africa is still ajar.

Cometh the Hour, cometh the Man/Woman to create the promised land where we all can live together in peace and prosperity.

This is both my wish and my prayer at this time.”


David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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