ANC WC fails at opposition politics

2015-02-24 04:37

Today is the start of the debate on the State of the Province address (SOPA) in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP). This follows last week’s disruption of the SOPA, by the African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape (WC).

President Jacob Zuma gave South Africans a glimpse of a president in his State of the Nation (SONA) reply. With this he gave the people a glimmer of hope. He acknowledged all the issues raised by opposition parties.

South Africans saw the statesman and leader that they so crave in the manner in which President Zuma closed the SONA debate. Moreover, it is a relief that it went off without marring the separation of powers. The legislature got to hear the executive’s response to issues that it raised, so that it may be satisfied in its oversight. As it should be.

In the wake of this, President Zuma’s reconciliatory skill has been very topical – ‘we are talking here about a man who was instrumental in bringing about a peaceful regime change.’ Mr Zuma made reference to his regard for Madiba’s reconciliatory message, implying a reconciliatory culture that is still alive and well in the ANC.

With these words barely cold, the ANC in the WC drops the ball.

It was the Western Cape Provincial Parliament opening on Friday the 20th of February. Premier Helen Zille delivered her SOPA, which was quite sadly perforated by trivial interruptions by the WC ANC. The Premier eventually had to deliver her SOPA in a press briefing after which she tabled it in the legislature, so that the debate could continue this week. It was as though the ANC was attempting to manufacture legitimacy for their uncooperative and even ungovernable approach to politics in the WC. They did so by rising to interrupt the SOPA about a matter that was not due to be discussed that day.

It boggles the mind when trying to understand quite what drove such aimless disruptiveness, other than a culture of opposition-politics-incompetence in the ANC, which has allowed disruption to fester as a viable political channel in the first place.

The ANC in the WC clearly does not understand its role as an opposition party. If they cannot deliver on oversight, how could they ever deliver on good governance? Particularly when they are so determined to be divisive and disruptive, when they would be better served to operate within the established framework to drive their agenda.

President Zuma says that the ANC knows what it is doing. This may have some merit, after all they have been running South Africa since the inception of its democracy. However, one must wonder about Eskom, Nkandla, Guptagate and the Spy tapes saga – to name but a few. These issues raise serious doubts and concerns. And they are valid concerns that affect the standard of governance that the electorate receives. Governance that is currently losing R30bn per annum to corruption.

As young people grow older, they are beginning to vote in line with rational choice. They are seeking that which caters to their interests. If the ANC in the WC is anything to go by, then the ANC nationally is not going capable of the delivery that President Jacob Zuma so convincingly talked about in his SONA reply.

One can only wait and see what the debate in the House will hold in terms of contributions made from the ANC’s opposition benches.

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