Political parties’ litany of lies

2015-12-03 06:00

With the majority of South Africans living under grinding poverty daily, with ever increasing unemployment, poor service delivery in most municipalities around the country, it seems we are sitting on a ticking time bomb, and political parties should be wary of making promises they cannot keep.

We are fast approaching the 2016 Local Government Elections, and some political parties have already started their election campaigns in earnest, with lot of promises to the electorate.

Political party Manifestos must not only be crafted to garner more votes; the electorate must not be promised heaven and earth or a state of bliss.

The challenges faced by communities should make the nucleus of political party manifestos; real challenges that can be resolved by the political party once in government, and not a pie in the sky .

In 1994 many promises were made by the ruling party before it became the government of the day, as South Africans we were all excited about the democratic transition and we had a very long honeymoon without knowing that the promises that the ANC made in 1994 would not have been achieved by 2015 .

The ANC’s 1994 promise in their election manifesto was to “ensure introduction of free education in higher education and training”.

This has not been achieved although the ANC led government has been in the reins for more than 22 years.

Since the 1976 school uprisings in South Africa, young people have a vibrant energy and the will to give direction to government policies and laws.

This energy and will amongst South African youth has been overshadowed by partisanship, though most of the students are from poor families, and always feel the pinch when it comes to paying for inflated university fees.

The #FeesMustFall campaign has been in hibernation for all these years. It is painful to all of us who were promised a free higher education in 1994.

These protests could never have happened if the ANC had delivered South Africans to the promised land. The students didn’t suck the idea of a free education out of their thumbs, it was promised in 1994.

The state uses riot police in democratic South Africa to manhandle students protesting for free education that is due to them, thus creating flashbacks to those who witnessed how apartheid security forces dealt with protesters in the past.

Recently, the University of the Western Cape declared that the damage caused by protesting students is estimated at R12 million, which figure could have been astronomical, had all varsities students in the country taken part in the vandalism and destruction of facilities.

My advice to all political parties that are now busy crafting their manifestos for the 2016 local government elections, the declaration should not deceive or create a false impression to the electorate.

Promises must be achievable, realistic and a true reflection of the issues that need to be addressed on the ground .

Political party manifestos must not only be good on paper but need to be translated to municipal IDP’s and be easy to be implemented together with the communities concerned so that service delivery protests and other uprisings and #Movements will be a thing of the past.

Sandile Bontsa Nyanga

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