Beware the might of non voters

Johannesburg- The great Mfundi Vundla could not have plotted the looting soapie that played out in our streets and spilled into our living rooms in July.

Nor could the award-winning Mbongeni Ngema have scripted and predicted the damp squib that was the local government elections 2021.

Damp squib they were, but insignificant there were not. In the latter sense, these elections were an instructive non-event.

They speak to a complicated and poignant moment in the history of our republic.

The most visible and the most sensational symptoms of this moment are out there for all to see: murdered councillor candidates, low voter turnout, the  high number of the eligible who did not register to vote, hung councils and councils lost and found.

We are now saddled with several precarious coalitions.

With some of these coalitions, where no shared principles are discernable, the question is not if but when they will collapse.

In many of these coalitions, each participant political party may try to extract as much of what is in it for them, as quickly as possible, before the coalition collapses. I shudder to think how the auditor-general’s report on municipalities will read, one year from now.


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