It is general knowledge that South Africa is at a defining moment. On the one hand you have a ruling party that has failed to meet its mandate and it is marred in corruption scandals both in the person of its leader at its epicenter and within its core leadership. Once a beacon of hope to South Africans the African National Congress is now a shadow of what it used to signify under its mid 90s leadership. There are only two visible dominant opposition parties that contend with it for the attention of the electorate. The Democratic Alliance can be seen as occupying the middle path with the Economic Freedom Fighters occupying the extreme left and becoming left in its leaning as we press gently towards august 3rd∇
What is similar about the two antagonists to the African National Congress is their similar stances on the fact that the president of the republic must step down and that the center of power as epitomized by the contemporary African National Congress leadership is corrupt and is in need of a changeover or a total wipeout from the political stratosphere followed by the insertion of a new power order because, in these two political parties opinion, ‘it has failed the people’. Obviously both of these two antagonists to the present center of power are thinking of themselves exclusively when they lament for that change. It is unlikely that they will form a coalition in the near future to achieve the change they profess as their policies and stances are radically different.
The electorate is fragmented and not occupying two polar extremes with definitive needs that match the center of power’s antagonist’s dissimilar ideological leanings with regard to their needs and expectations as to what the center of power should be providing them with in order to make life bearable. To simplify my assertion let us look at the electorate in relation to the center of power’s occupants and their antagonists. Those who favor the ruling party think it has done well and that nothing is wrong, that there is ‘a good story to tell’. The Democratic Alliance has made its mission to exploit all legal angles available to prove that the ruling party is not eligible or fit to continuously govern based on the corruption cases that hang above its president and its failing economic reformations. It can be deduced that this concentration on the corruption of the ruling party is geared towards showing the electorate where the ruling party has failed and weak and that the Democratic Alliance will fare well compared to the ruling part on those arrears accentuated as weak should it come into power.
So far the DA has offered nothing new or nothing that speaks to the downtrodden by way of what it can deliver without using the ANC as a yard stick. And that remains a hurdle to clear for it. It has played itself out as the positive polar opposite in relation to the center of power. Having said this it is noteworthy to observe that it is a party that reflects a multiracial character compared to the EFF which one can argue has emerged as representing the black majority especially youth who feel that they have been failed by the ruling party. In a way as the ruling party continuously failed to keep its promise of ‘a better life for all’ the Economic Freedom Fighters has become a place of refuge for the dispossessed and disenfranchised youth. The DA has had its pickings from the financially threatened and strained middle class under the present government who have become disillusioned and have looked elsewhere for a political home.
In simple terms these three political parties can be understood in an analogy wherein the ANC continues to see itself as the liberator of the people from the clutches of apartheid but it is presently struggling with economic apartheid due to the decisions it made in the past and continues to make today. To a certain extent the struggle of the ruling party is acerbated by its lack of a coherent transformation strategy that can address the different social stratus it has inherited since the dawn of freedom as well as the growing youth surplus. The Democratic Alliance, long seen as the main opposition party in South African politics has to fend off the Economic Freedom Fighter whilst performing a stance of proclaiming that it is a the party of ‘fairness’ and that under it South Africans will have an equal chance to thrive while at the same time continuously thrumming the old song that the ruling party has strayed away from the principles that founded New South Africa. The Economic Freedom Fighters has without hesitation proclaimed itself to be a socialist ideologically leaning political party and that under it the land will be returned to its rightful owners – the black populace. It is a radical political party prepared to even take up arms to remove the Republic of South Africa from the clutches of the African National Congress should there be foul play on 3 August 2016 election date. This is where we are•
© mmutle arthur kgokong 2016