Johannesburg- Oh, the arrogance of our politicians to pontificate when South Africa is rotting.
Water and sanitation backlogs and the filth that is choking our rivers is testament to the fact that the most basic of priorities in local governance has been neglected for far too long.
And on the eve of local elections, with a backdrop of decreasing voter registration especially among the youth, what is the message of the three biggest parties? “We are sorry”, “We are better” and “We are the loudest”.
Some of the elders of the ANC, some of whom were shamefully recalled and resigned during those infamous days of September 2008, are conducting an assessment of the organisation and the deteriorating quality of its membership when all voters want to hear is an answer to “what are you going to do about the sewer that is running into my yard?” or “when are you going to attend to the leaking pipes in my area?” or worse “when will I get clean water”?
Others are paroled prisoners who are terminally ill, but have enough energy to poke holes at the judiciary system between encouraging voters not to turn their backs on the “broad church”.
Other leaders display an incongruity between their words on corruption and their actions in dealing with it in all the ranks of the governing party. As we speak, there are a number of reports sitting on the desk of the party’s No 1 – and the vibes coming out of that office are anything but clear.
Instead, the resounding message from the ANC on the eve of the local polls has been an unequivocal “we are sorry, give us another chance”. Oh, the nerve! This is the party that has noble policies such as “Through the eye of a needle”.
Yet today, finding the kind of cadre spoken of in that document will be like finding a needle in a haystack.
The DA is just as condescending in its message to those who are looking for service delivery; very instructive in its message to voters not to waste their “X” on smaller parties but to channel all that anger into diluting the power of the governing party and stymieing the further growth of the EFF and crashing any prospects of their disgruntled former leaders from succeeding.
No answer to “why should I trust that you will care about my needs in Snake Park when I’m in the same boat with my counterparts in Khayelitsha”?
The EFF continues to be the rally mecca of local politics. It’s like a free concert headlined by top acts – and for those blissful hours, when the music is blaring and the master of ceremonies is equally captivating, nothing matters.
Sadly, after all this fanfare, the voter will enter the voting booth with the same frustrations as in 2016. On November 1, the same questions will still confront individuals when having to choose who will best serve their interests and basic needs. We are spoilt for choice. Happy voting.
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