The upcoming general elections present a perfect opportunity for voters to send a strong message and hold the DA accountable for its regressive and outdated policy direction, like the Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill.
All those who are pressing the DA to abandon this fantastical idea must be applauded after a scheduled public hearing last week was halted when angry members of political parties and civil groups were blocked from entering the venue.
According to the party, this “Back to the Past Bill” seeks to expand federal autonomy for capable provincial and local governments and empower them to manage devolved functions such as policing, public transport, energy, and harbours from the national government.
Yet, this right-wing scheme only aims to bring back “the good old days” of segregation in an unequal society, couched as a response to “anxiety and despair among South Africans at the national government’s increasing inability to deliver on its constitutional mandate,” as DA leader John Steenhuisen puts it.
A trip back to apartheid
But no decent voter should be excited. Progress is the way forward, not a trip back to apartheid Bantustan ideologies.
It is hard to take seriously a party that believes dividing the country into pockets of unequal societies is a solution to its problems.
More than a delusional fantasy, the proposal is a laughable attempt by the DA to gain support by promising powers that they have no authority or capability to deliver.
The DA’s Western MPL, Christopher Fry, says the bill seeks to identify and remedy failures of the national government. Kudos for arrogance, Mr Fry.
But wait first. What experience does the DA has running a national government?
Of course, who needs experience when you can just make grandiose promises and hope for the best? After all, running a country doesn’t even require a matric. Right, John?
The fact is that South Africa needs a strong central government that addresses inequality and creates real economic opportunities for all South Africans.
The DA’s focus on empowering provincial and local governments does not address South Africa’s underlying issues of poverty, inequality, and unemployment and instead seeks to musk them purely as issues of competence, sans historical context. That is a lie.
Both the idea of Cape independence and the proposed Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill seem like a comical attempt to turn back the clock and create a mini-nation within a nation.
Like the proponents of independence, the DA sees segregation as the best hope for creating some First World nation on Africa’s southern tip — the Cape of Good Hope.
This regressive bill is the DA’s desperate ploy for right-wing votes.
The DA needs to stop peddling false hopes and start working on real solutions to our problems. Instead of promising impossible results, the party should focus on real solutions that benefit all South Africans.
While the bill claims to empower provincial and local governments, it only highlights the DA’s outdated ideology.
Voters need to see through these empty promises and hold the DA accountable for its backwardness.
South Africans must be vigilant and ensure that this bill does not become law. Instead of embracing unity, the DA seems stuck in a time warp, clinging to outdated ideologies.
It’s hard to imagine that voters would take such regressive thinking seriously.