On December 16th, celebrated annually in South Africa, we remember our past history, by recognising contributions and protests made against racial injustice and inequality.  Most importantly, we remember the steps already taken towards reconciling past differences and healing the damage caused on our people by apartheid.

On the inaugural Day of Reconciliation, celebrated in 1995, former President, Nelson Mandela said, “But we do know that healing the wounds of the past and freeing ourselves of its burden will be a long and demanding task. This Day of Reconciliation celebrates the progress we have made; it reaffirms our commitment; and it measures the challenges.”

Reconciliation, however, does not mean forgetting or trying to bury the pain of conflict. In fact, if these traumas are not addressed, the effort will be marred by resentment.

Over the past 26 years of our democracy, South Africans have had a chance to strike out along a path towards rebuilding a nation with the democratic foundations that had been laid for our society. Even in 1995, the late, great father of our nation, encouraged us to use our collective strengths to carry on building the nation and improving its quality of life.

According to our research, one of the key driving forces that will influence or determine social cohesion in 2030, is how we approach, address and work to resolve the issues of holding on to Resentment whilst trying to Reconcile.

Unless we work harder to resolve the conflict that exists – bridging the lack of a shared understanding of our history, taking the strides to a more inclusive society, we will unfortunately still be on the Gwara Gwara scenario.