South Africa is far too fixated on race, to be able to elect officials based on performance.
In recent times it would appear that the Western Cape had become little Europe within the country, as most public services just seems to work better in that part of the world.
I recently sat in awe as a friend of mine, who lives around Cape Town, explained the safe bus route she uses to the city centre and the fact that train passes are a reality for everyone, and not just the people willing to whether certain mugging on a Metro Train, also illustrates the alternatives available in terms of public transport.
Then there’s the general content most Western Cape residents so smugly rub in Gautenger’s faces, every time they get the opportunity to do so.
Yes, the Western Cape, and more specifically Cape Town, has become our international city of choice, winning accolades such as the World Design Capital 2014, and not to mention Helen Zille winning the Best Mayor in the World award in 2008, topping the mayor of, arguably, the best functioning city in the world, Zurich, for top spot.
Couple the above with all the opinions anyone who reads this has on the Western Cape, and anyone with the ability to apply logic, will know that it is governed on a completely different level than anywhere else in South Africa.
However, as any South African would also know, race is the trump card in this country, and “...the Great White Hype, just ain’t there...”
Yes, Ivory is out, and Ebony is the colour of choice when it comes to public office. Mind you, that applies to business, job finding, magazine content, news worthiness and just about any other thing, including braai talk around a fire.
Politics is a black man’s game, simply due to the past this country has, and the distrust the masses have towards white people; something the ANC has abused to its full extent during their time in power.
The worst of all is the fact that the ANC has become so incompetent, that they are forcing their own supporters to abstain from voting, rather than vote against them.
If you think of what the people of this country endured in the old days, where they weren’t allowed to vote, and the fact that a struggle of decades eventually secured that very right, it is nauseating to think that the ANC is causing those very same people to abstain from that right.
I recently heard of the umpteenth ANC supporter who told me they would not vote in the next elections, and when prompted why they wouldn’t vote for the opposition, they just shrugged their shoulders, mumbling something about 'Miesies Zille...."
Some people could call it the ‘Mandela factor’, meaning that they won’t vote against the ANC, for as long as Madiba is still alive, which is something I completely understand.
Couple that with the fact that Helen Zille is white, and that COPE is viewed as ‘defectors’ from the ANC, and it becomes evident why the average ANC supporter would rather wash their hair on election day, than make the tedious pilgrimage to their nearest voting station to vote against the ANC.
I despise the notion that people, especially whites, condone Lindiwe Mazibuko’s appointment as parliamentary representative, as ‘necessary’; as if to say that “...we need black leaders in the party...”
Firstly, it’s not only your party, and it’s not supposed to be a white party with some black leaders. It is supposed to be the logical alternative to poor governance, and the party for every South African with the guts to stand up against the ANC.
Obviously Mazibuko is not an idiot, and even more obvious, she is black, but she is a new breed of ex-ANC supporter.
The bottom line is, she is an ANC defector, who somehow she pulled it off towards the greater good, rather than the view that the COPE brigade did it for their own gain.
The one thing all DA supporters need to know is that substantial gain for the party can only be achieved without Helen Zille.
The simple reason is vested in the fact that she got stuck in a certain stigma, making it very difficult for someone who despises her, to start liking her. Simply put, she’s been in politics too long.
Personally, I like the way she handles things, and her managerial skills speaks for itself, but it would be ignorant to think that real growth in favour of the DA could be achieved under her rule. However, lest us not forget that she remains a politician, and by definition will always have a hidden agenda or ‘strategy’ in everything she does.
What the DA needs, is someone raw and without prior stigma. Possibly a leader not yet in its ranks, yet one can argue that the mood is set for such a person to step to the front.
Maybe I’m wrong, and it’s Mazibuko, maybe someone completely different appears on the horizon, or maybe, just maybe, someone with proper ‘struggle’ credentials seizes the opportunity and surprises everyone...
Whatever the outcome, the difference between the DA and the ANC is primarily found in effectiveness, versus history.
Whereas the DA is a relatively new party, made up of former National Party, Democratic Party and the odd ANC defectors, the ruling party has a hundred years of liberation slapped all over it.
Despite all the work Zille has poured into the party, the time has come for her to start the transition to a new flag bearer; someone who has the ability to carry the baton the last hundred metres...someone who can turn silver, into eventual gold.