It’s that time of the year again. A time for battle lines to be drawn, for divisions and disunity to emerge within political parties in preparation for next years’ elections. This is also a time for new parties to be formed and new visions and ideals to surface in an effort to win key votes in either maintaining the status quo or a long awaited shake-up in South Africa’s political scene.
COPE almost had a chance to accomplish this, but unfortunately stumbled over due to in-fighting and petty egoistic squabbles. All the while, the ANC has continued to show utter disregard to the plight of the nation and calls for the end of corruption and gross incompetence in all state agencies. President Zuma has grown very bold since Mangaung to the point that he sees no need to justly spending R206m of tax payers’ money on his Nkandla residence. Let alone his relationship with the Gupta family, which seems to spit at the faces of all the devoted citizens of this country. His sheer arrogance has been publicly revealed for all to see.
It is for this reason that I believe that the time has finally come for a serious contender to challenge the ANC in next year’s elections. Enter Dr Mamphela Ramphele and her Agang party, promising to bring an end to the ruling party’s dominance and finally deliver us true freedom in South Africa. Sure we have all heard these kinds of promises from political parties before, what makes us think that things will change at all? And how about the DA, I hear you ask? Surely they also deserve a chance to contest the elections as a ruling party as the ANC’s main opposition. I have no issues at all against the DA. In all honesty, I even gave them a chance in the face of no other alternative in the past. However, what is different this time is that for once I have actually heard something from a political party that truly resonates with my own values and passion as an individual.
For a long time, I have sat and watched in dismay as unemployment and poverty figures continue to soar, our education system blundered and butchered at every angle and crime literally running rampant without much being done to curb this violent trend. And to add to that, all the corruption that has been exposed has eroded any confidence I had in the government. No wonder so many people felt so helpless, lied to and defeated. And yes, the DA did promise to change all this if given the chance, but now I think I might have found a party that truly understands my plight and those of my people and sounds dedicated to the same things I do.
Almost daily I am confronted with people who have so much to offer this country, but because of their circumstances and situations they are shunned and dismissed purely because of the colour of their skin. They are reduced to nothing whilst the government professes to act in their interest. Agang seems to understand this better than anyone at the moment and I hope that they can turn this potential into something tangible in trying to establish a better South Africa for all.
Of course this could all be a pipe dream as most South Africans might continue to ignore all other parties and cling to the hope of a fair ANC that cares about them and deliver promises made over 20 years ago. If that is the case, then we will continue to get the government and leaders we deserve and all our pleas and cries will continue to fall on deaf ears. This is a golden opportunity to show the ANC who really is in charge. And if once again they continue to win in spite of their ineptitude, then my hope is that at least Agang will force them into positive action and that they finally start to take us more seriously and act in a more professional and exemplary manner in dealing with the challenges facing South Africans on daily.
There is probably very little chance of this happening, but at least I would not have endorsed a party that is no longer in sync with my ideals. And if my vote is wasted on Agang, then so be it. At least I would lose knowing that I did all I could for the majority of this country that need me now more than ever. Even if it means they never get to appreciate it.