Getting the warm and fuzzy feeling

2013-05-31 00:00

WHATEVER people may feel about her politically, we have to admit that Helen Zille is a visionary, and is worthy of utmost admiration as a South African citizen.

My distrust of most politicians notwithstanding, I have made some observations about her, about why I respect her vision.

I love South Africans so much that at times I get “a warm and fuzzy feeling” inside when I observe the different races locally, and on TV programmes.

This is because I have had all of them call me their child, friend, date and brother. There is nobody like us, and I wish we could focus on our strengths.

However, when it comes to politics, there has not been an organisation that feels like a home to all of us since Nelson Mandela was campaigning for presidency and made the ANC seem welcoming to all. Helen Zille seems to see the void.

Due to the political settlement that was reached to end apartheid, which black South Africans are increasingly recognising was a raw deal, there is rising impatience in the country. And coupled with their members’ vulgar opulence, and a debilitating lack of political will, the ANC is losing love.

It seems to have been a deal for the political elite, which kept the old power structure intact, save for a few overnight multi-millionaires.

So, while black citizens have their questions, white citizens are also asking: “Why can’t they help their own people?

“Why the hopelessness when there’s enough money to buy most MPs a Benz and chauffeur?”

A question that quietly arises is where did the new generation of blacks disappear to?

Why aren’t they visible in South African politics?

The ANC’s children, the unpopular Model C’s who want to be active, are apparently not accommodated in the party for various reasons.

They feel that their “parents” sent them to white schools, only to be disrespectfully called “clever blacks” who don’t know their culture.

Consequently, they have adopted apolitical subcultures, which further alienate them into social oblivion.

However, the bold are plying their trade in the DA. Zille knows that there is a wealth of talent in the young, educated black population that is not adept at the intimidation lately synonymous with “black politics”.

These black DA members who I see in the news give me that fuzzy feeling again. For one, her spokespeople, members of parliament and the like, are people who more than likely would have been among the unemployed youth of South Africa.

The fact that they have meaningful work and are contributing to South Africa is important for us to see.

It is much better than the more regular images of angry young black people, burning tyres, looting shops and intimidating people who are ideologically different from them.

However, while their leader went to the Social Cohesion Summit and included multiple languages in her presentation, I am unconvinced that DA members are embracing all South Africans, rather than just looking out for minority interests.

Still, I respect and admire Zille’s articulated, implemented vision.

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