Limping and faltering and misuse of taxpayers' money

2008-08-30 00:00

As South Africa gears up for the national and provincial elections next year on a date yet to be announced by the Minister of Provincial and Local Government Sydney Mufamadi, the upcoming elections could prove to be the most exciting and most competitive — certainly for the opposition parties.

It’s an open secret that the date will primarily be one that suits the ruling party which explains why planning for the elections by opposition parties has already started just in case Mufamadi pulls out a surprise.

This [forward planning] is for a number of reasons including that the ruling party is in disarray and is limping for the first time before an election, which could be good and/or bad for the opposition. A limping African National Congress (ANC) could falter and die, which is highly unlikely or, like an injured tiger, could fight for dear life and come back with a vengeance.

As our democracy gets older, the more exciting the elections will become because although parties such as the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) have been consistently losing support, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has been making some headway.

South Africa needs a black opposition political party, especially during a stage when the DA is still looked at as being foreign, too white, out of touch with voters’ needs and unaccommodating of black voters.

As I have always maintained, political parties and politicians are all the same, regardless of their political affiliation. Where the ANC has failed and has been criticised by other political parties, these same parties, if they were in power, would also falter.

We are bound to see the biggest number of projects being launched in the coming months by different tiers of the government than we have in the past four years. This will be done under the guise of the government providing for the people but it will, in fact, be campaigning for the party in power. New houses will be given to residents, government programmes will be launched, sod-turning ceremonies will take place and service-delivery projects will be delivered across the country.

The ANC will take advantage of its power across all three tiers of government. The IFP will exploit council resources while it still has control in KwaZulu-Natal and the DA will also do its best, using government funds, to retain control in the Western Cape.

What is sad about these disguised political party events, which are illegitimately funded by taxpayers, is that even the most indigent municipalities will be milked dry to meet political agendas. This leaves one thinking about where the interests of the people, which these parties claim to have in their best interests, go when the government and the taxpayers’ money is misused.

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