The Democratic Alliance (DA), last week couldn’t “confirm nor deny” the fact that they were behind the billboards that were erected on the N3 and N1 highways which stated, “E-tolls. Proudly brought to you by the ANC.” This latest “electioneering stunt” by the DA is reminiscent of the “Stop Zuma” campaign which the DA launched 2 weeks before the general elections in 2009.
We all know what an epic fail that campaign was as Jacob Zuma became the president of SA and by all indications he looks set to the president in 2014 yet again. Basically, the DA failed to “stop Zuma” in 2009 and they will fail yet again to stop the e-tolls. I would like to categorically state that I am not a fan of these e-tolls and I will not be buying an e-tag or registering for any e-tolls nonsense.
Here is my issue with the DA; they have now admitted that they were behind the “E-tolls. Proudly brought to you by the ANC” billboards. They want to make the e-tolls an election issue. I am afraid that is NOT the right strategy to deter voters away from the ANC to the DA.
A typical ANC voter might agree with 7 out of the 10 policies that the ANC has, but this doesn’t mean that an ANC voter would suddenly switch their vote from the ANC to DA because they are disgruntled with the “e-tolls” issue for example. The e-tolls are not enough, there needs to be more for a change in voting patterns to happen! That is what the DA is missing out on. This latest tactic could be interpreted by voters as “dirty politics” by the DA as a smear campaign against their “beloved ANC” and thus may not necessarily attract votes to the DA but rather other parties.
Majority of black South Africans, including the “clever blacks” can hardly identify with the DA. To an ordinary black South African on the street, the FF+, NP and DA/DP are one and the same. They are all led by a white person therefore represent a very dark past that we as the majority black people haven’t forgotten about and still suffer from. An issue with the DA tends to forget is that voting and politics in SA is mostly about identity and race. Blacks were oppressed because of their identity and race; hence this will always feature when we cast our votes.
A party like EFF, Agang SA or even COPE has a better chance of “stealing” ANC voters than the DA ever will. Yes, the DA might be able to get a minority of the “clever blacks” and some poor black voters but that will never be enough for them to gain control of Gauteng, let alone the country for that matter. The DA still remains a white party for the elite and for monopoly white capital. Twenty years after apartheid, this country's racial and economic architecture remains unchanged. White South Africans still own much of the wealth of this country, our economy. While Black South Africans, apart from a narrow black elite, largely remain in poverty.The fact of the matter is that the scars of apartheid are still so fresh, so real and we see them every single day of our lives.
To put it succinctly, black South Africans shall continue to support the ANC or any other black party than to cast their votes next to a “white face!”
Black people, who are unhappy with the ANC, might cast a “protest vote” against the ANC but sure as hell it won’t go to the DA. The “protest vote” will most likely go to EFF or Agang. The ANC is not at all threatened by the DA, they are more concerned about EFF and Agang hence they have been disrupting EFF and Agang rallies and meetings.
When I listen to some DA members argue policies or question the ruling party I can’t help but agree with certain views, (the e-tolls issue being a prime example) but still, there is no love for the DA. We are a young democracy we still have bleeding wounds of yesterday, seeing any skin that’s not black in political power scares us as black people. Hence 1.3 million South Africans voted for COPE instead of the DA in the 2009 general elections. That COPE vote could have well been a “protest vote” against the ANC.
In its current form the DA will NEVER win the general elections, hence some ANC members confidently say, “ANC will rule South Africa until Jesus comes.” South Africa needs a strong, black and credible opposition sadly the DA is not the answer. The DA needs to dissolve and be swallowed by COPE, EFF or Agang SA and have a BLACK African leader. It matters not how well Helen Zille or Athol Trollip speak IsiXhosa and dance to all Brenda Fassie’s songs; the black majority still doesn’t trust a white person to be given political power. You cannot win elections unless you have the majority of black South Africans supporting you.
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