GDF according to Karl Marx Mkongi

2016-05-26 06:00
Bongani Mkongi is a Member of Parliament, born in Gugulethu, Ny 57 No. 35, Section 2. He is writing in his personal capacity as the bona fide and resident of Gugulethu.

Bongani Mkongi is a Member of Parliament, born in Gugulethu, Ny 57 No. 35, Section 2. He is writing in his personal capacity as the bona fide and resident of Gugulethu.

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Yes, Gugulethu will be turning 60 in August 2018. We must all grow up like Gugulethu and own up to our responsibilities of taking Gugs into higher heights and make it a community of the 21st century.
Let’s stop with the Shenanigans(Shenanigans in GDF by people lacking vision, City Vision May 19, 2016)!

I have been reluctant and cautious to contribute to this particular topic about the Gugulethu Development Forum.

This discussion, in my view, should be aimed at contributing constructively and meaningfully towards the development of Gugulethu in general.

Secondly, it should aim at informing the Gugulethu residents about the importance of participating in the development of their community. Thirdly, it must update the community about progress in the revival of the Gugulethu Development Forum (GDF).

It will not help if I leave this debate to be marred by spats in the run-up to the elections of the GDF.

This is informed by the notion that ‘I don’t want to be a paper tiger or been viewed as an armed chair revolutionary’(sic) in the face of the collapse of community activism in Gugulethu.

However, in the wake of misinformation and obscurities with regard to the role of both development activists and political activists towards the development of our communities; I am left with no option but to put the record straight.

From the onset, I would like to charge that there is a dialectical link between ‘politics’ and ‘development’. There is no ‘Chinese Wall’ between politics and development.

They are not mutually exclusive but mutually re-enforcing each other. The dialectical method that glue politics and development today can be found in the theory and doctrine of political economy by Karl Marx in his response to Adam Smith and David Ricardo during the 18th century.

In his analysis economics like development, in our case, was taught and practiced in isolation from politics and historical reality; but for Marx economic by implication development can only be analysed and practiced in a political way.

According to Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia: On the one side:

“Politics is the process of making uniform decisions applying to all members of society, community or group”.

To paraphrase, it involves the use of power and power relations vested to politicians and political activists by the people to do good to humanity in order to effect change in the lives of the people as stated by the objectives and goals of such a society, community and group.

On the other side, course 101 on Globalisation teaches us that:

“Development encompasses the need and the means by which to provide better lives for the people especially the poor.

It includes not only economic growth, although this is crucial, but also human development – providing for education, health, nutrition, and even clean environment”.

It is for this reason that I argue that development is not an enemy of politics. Development calls for a deep understanding and pushing back of the ‘triplet’ deep-seated frontiers of poverty, unemployment and inequalities in our communities whilst at the same time politics call for a fight for the implementation of policies that are aimed at achieving the objectives of the developmental agenda.

Therefore, there is a symbiotic link between politics and development, the world over.

South Africa in general and Gugulethu in particular cannot be found wanting in the pool of confusion over the critical importance of the relationship between politics and development.

The concept and hypothesis that come to mind is the ‘theory of political development’ is that Political Development is the theory and model designed to explain the sanctity of politics and development as a culture of collection of thoughts and practices that function as a basis for the community social structure: an anthropological perspective.

It is against this backdrop that I would argue again that it is naked opportunism and grandstanding of the highest order to argue against the participation of political activists to local community development.

My view is informed by the appreciation to the salient common features that underpin the form and content of politics and development as espoused by the theory of political development.

This theory or hypothesis calls for the collective appreciation of common challenges facing our communities.

In the final analysis, political activists or politicians like development activists or developmentalists are members of society or community before they are politicians or belonging to any developmental structure or organisation. In the case of Gugulethu, political activists/politicians like others claiming to be development activists were born in Gugulethu; playing on the dusty streets of our township. ’

Their umbilical cords are grounded in the inner bowels of Gugulethu soil. They too did all their rituals and traditions in the bushes of Gugulethu.

These activists grew up in Gugulethu like any other community member of this township.

They’ve attended their schooling in Gugulethu from Primary to High School completing their higher education in the Universities and Technikons of the Western Cape Province.

Most of them work in Cape Town contributing in the tax base of both Gugulethu and the province.

They even met their first girlfriends and wives in Gugulethu.

They too have a noble and Constitutional right to participate to all the activities of Gugulethu, Cape Town and the broader Province of the Western Cape.

They have a constitutional right to elect or/and be elected in any structure in the community they reside in, including in the City and Province.

Some of these individuals who are not in the province but work elsewhere in the country they commute periodically from their work stations outside Cape Town to assist towards the development of Gugulethu in particular and province in general.

The living example of the contribution of these cadres is the fight against crime in Gugulethu, skills development initiatives, youth development activities and programmes, construction of indoor toilets for older citizens of Gugulethu, construction of sport facilities, distribution of arts, culture material and equipment and many more.

There is no individual that can claim any authority or monopoly to Gugulethu unless it is based on the ‘will of the people’.

To come closer to home, it is my submission that it is mischievous and dishonest to suggest that politics and development are far-fetched concepts from each other in the conduct of community and societal development and evolution.

Any attempt to isolate political activists from participating in the development of the community of their birth must be fought and defeated.

It is dangerous because tomorrow there could be a call for religious people not to participate in community development lest they are accused of bringing religious feuds to development because of their religious affiliations viz. Christians, Jews, Hindus, Islam, Zionists, Anglicans, Apostolic, African religion, Rastafarism, and etc.

Please don’t mar democracy! Don’t bar people from participating in the development of their communities. There are no Shenanigans in the GDF by people lacking vision. GDF is not a fiefdom of self-proclaimed so-called leaders with(out) vision. It is a Home for All.

Asinamona! Asinandzondo!! Siyayidumisa i-GDF!

.Bongani Mkongi is a Member of Parliament, born in Gugulethu, Ny 57 No. 35, Section 2. He is writing in his personal capacity.


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