Where are people in all this?

2009-12-08 13:54

ON PAPER, our South African government is a government for the

people by the people, and also, on paper, all political parties exist to serve

the interests of the people – the electorate.

I have closely observed events in South Africa and wonder if most

things our political parties focus on contribute in changing my life.

I have

wondered if their so-called programmes of action contribute to the prosperity of

ordinary South Africans like myself or are political parties all about fighting

to hold onto power and battle to acquire power.

Most of the government programmes are of greater value to

politicians than they are to the ordinary people.

Whether it be support grants,

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE), building of RDP houses,

procurement of arms, and so on.

Politician’s spouses, family and friends benefit

millions from these initiatives.

While the governing party, the ANC, wastes resources, talent and

energy, the opposition parties focus on the wrongs of the governing party.

Therefore what follows is that opposition parties become reactive – they become

an extension of the governing party.

They are in what I refer to as “unconscious


The only time they make headlines is when they criticise the

government on an unpopular appointment or policy.

Of course these issues are crucial, but it is not for the

opposition party to exist just to point out the wrongs of the governing party or

the government.

With the above in mind, my question remains that where are the

so-called ordinary people in all this?

Who makes headlines fighting for their

lack of access to water, electricity, and so forth?

Why is it that more noise is

made about the appointment of a judge than is made about crime?

Still on the topic, I wish to applaud the Independent Democrats for

their fight in ensuring that the mobile network industry does not reap us off as


More focus is needed on the challenges that ordinary South Africans

are facing on a daily basis.

Why can’t we have opposition parties that are creative in

addressing people’s needs?

Why can’t we have a proactive governing party that

make headlines by itself and not only make headlines by responding to a


Could it be that what we call opposition parties is in fact an

illusion? Could what we call an opposition party be part of a “super alliance”

with the governing party?

Until the battleground is on the needs of the ordinary people, we

are all on the losing side.


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