It is often said that things are easier said than done. As an on-looker, it becomes quite convenient to not have to face the challenge of doing something yourself.
Once upon a time, my cousin and I had to help slaughter a goat for his father. We, in our inexperienced selfs held the goat, while the more experienced guys did the rest. Due to the part that we had played, I feel we too had the right to say ‘WE’ slaughtered a goat.
His dad was on the sidelines of-course, playing coach and giving instructions that were not helpful in any way. He got a phone call, and in my assumption, felt the need to brag to the party on the other side that he was in the middle of slaughtering a goat. Talk about a broken telephone.
It is easier to say how one is going to fix any situation when one does not have to deal with the situation themselves. Theories are not always practical once contextualised. And often we realise that although the plan might seem to be full proof, implementation is not.
This brings me to the South African political scene. Currently we have liberation movement turned government in the form of the ANC. We also have political movement turned opposition party in the form of the DA. Many suggest that the ANC has fallen victim to the ill fate of many liberation movements that succeeded to bring about political liberation, but failed to become good governments. This after all, is not an easy metamorphoses to make. Zanu-PF is an example. Often soldiers may win you a war, but you need academics and technocrats to bring you policy and good governance. It is highly unlikely to find an abundance of academically brilliant technocrats that also posses super-soldier capabilities.
And although the pen is mightier than the sword, what good is the pen with a dagger in your chest?
My current fixation is with the DA and its move into the City of Johannesburg as the official governing party. August the 3rd, 2016 was appearently the day that Jesus walked through a few municipalities in South Africa. With Herman Mashaba becoming Johannesburg’s new step dad, you wonder if he’ll at least allow weekend visits for Parks Tau.
But enough with the side story, the question that one has is, of how well they can do as a government that has to deal with such large scale problems. When I lived in the CBD DA governed Cape Town as a middle-income South African, I would probably not be the best option to ask how “good” the DA is at governing. Because I lived in the centre of tourist attraction and benefit from Cape Town, it seemed like the land of milk and honey. One must ask the average South African who lives on the outer-parts of racial and income segregated Cape Town (check map).
The issue to consider is this, in the same manner that many question whether the ANC made a good liberation party but not a good government, does the DA make a good opposition but possibly a bad government as well?
The issue to consider is this, in the same manner that many question whether the ANC made a good liberation party but not a good government, does the DA make a good opposition but possibly a bad government as well? Because as much as the DA has succeeded in the Western Cape, there is a lot of intellectual dishonesty that comes from those providing the numbers of their success. It is after all the hunter telling the story of how he killed the lion. After all, politics is politics. My concern is not in who you vote for, if you even vote at all. My concern is in not getting your hopes up too high if you vote for the DA.
The thing about the transfer of political power is that, it comes with it, a transfer of political problems. One thing the DA may possibly have above the ANC is the possibility of better relations with Western Europe and the US. However, just how the US dealt with the AGOA issue signifies who wears the pants in these relationships. Depending on which interest group you’re in, a relationship with Western Europe and the US may not be the worst thing, or it could push you to your limits.
The DA is untested, just as the ANC was in 1994. History has taught us that not all is ever as it seems. And one thing to note is that corruption has no colour or political party. Corruption just needs greedy people in public or economic power. And greedy people are everywhere. As the DA has moved into power ,as some of my compatriots have wished; I believe bureaucratic failure would continue. Perhaps in a different form, but continue non-the-less.
Whatever party you come from, or do not come from, if you are technically empowered to build South Africa, I would implore you to do so. I implore you to work in a manner that will see you move into positions of influence where your capable skill-sets will build us as a nation. In todays conditions, you’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.
What South Africa needs are young and capable leaders to move us forward. The experience and wisdom of the good elders coupled with the efficiency and innovation of the youth could spark off a great awakening. But if you put your entire hope in a party that has yet to be tested simply because of lip service paid, you may just discover that moving into power is easier said than done.