South African politics and the official opposition

With our municipal elections coming up soon, I’d like to talk a little bit about our political landscape, and my views on it.

I personally think that democracy is the least flawed form of government, and that our specific flavour of it in South Africa is more flawed than it has to be.

We don’t live in a multi-party democracy… sure it says that on paper, but practically there is only one party: the ANC. This is due to the fact that they are still seen as the revolutionary party and so a majority of the constituency will continue to vote for them out of a sense of responsibility. “They gave us freedom, so we must continue to vote for them.” This view continues despite the massive heap of broken promises piled around the ANC… In fairness, a lot of those promises were absolutely impossible to keep… but that simply means they shouldn’t have been made in the first place.

Now I’m not resting all of our governmental ills entirely on the ANC: our illustrious ‘official opposition’, the DA, haven’t exactly lived up to my expectations either. They may well be better at the administration that is required of government (Cape Town seems to be thriving), but as a political party they’ve left me disappointed. Their entire platform seems to be ANC bashing and that irritates me. I have very little idea of their platform, what they stand for (besides the mandatory generalistaions like more jobs, less crime and the like), or what their plan would be if they, by some miracle, got elected to national government. Sure… I could probably track down all that detail, but I don’t think it’s my responsibility. If they want my vote, then they should be the ones chasing after me. If they’re not willing to put in the effort to get my vote, how much work will they do for me after they’ve got it?

Not that I see much alternative… and that’s where the major problem lies. The social ills of crime, corruption, greed and graft all seem to point to a lack of leadership in this country. We have no one to point to and say, “Look! he/she/it is doing the right thing, so I will follow their example.”

Despite all this moaning and complaining, I urge all of you to make sure that you’re registered to vote (you can sms your ID number to 32810 to check), and turn out to vote on the day.

If you don’t vote, you can’t complain. Period.


“A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” -Theodore Roosevelt


2 thoughts on “South African politics and the official opposition

  1. Couldn't agree with you more! It's time the 'revolutionaries' ceased using this label and got to grips with reality – at the same time opposition parties need to think and act more swiftly. No point waiting for the next revolution as in the Arab world – the emotional energy there is the result of stagnation of the systems. Sooner or later the survival instincts of the populace will explode.

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