Framing the Issues to Win the Elections

2016-02-27 11:27

The 2016 Elections are in the horizon. EFF, ANC and the DA are entering the most severe storm as they try to gain more altitude with the South African public.

This is the week when South Africans will be confirming their voter statuses and a whole lot of young people registering to vote for the first time. The voter registration is happening 5-6 March 2016.

Overall the leading political parties (EFF, ANC and the DA) are increasingly confident of their prospects particularly in Nelson Mandela Metro. The metro has seen too much corruption, too much arrogance and too much outright stealing that the people are beginning to think that it is time for a change. The same goes for Tshwane and Johannesburg.

2016 Elections: Issues on the table

As of now we know for a fact the election strategies of these three leading political parties. They have made public statements, they have spoken in Parliament and more importantly all have organised mass marches where they laid bare their election strategies.

Here are the election strategies:

DA: Nurse the ailing economy, make it vibrant and create jobs

ANC: Racism and what Apartheid has done.

EFF: The poor, ordinary people, workers should earn enough to raise a family, and secure their children a golden future. Improve the poor living conditions of millions of Black people in the townships and rural areas.

Let us attempt to analyze these respective election strategies.

The DA Election Strategy

The DA strategy is not far fetched to consider. They have made strong statements for jobs. As their saying goes: where the DA governs there are jobs: unemployment is at its lowest.

They are making a strong case of the Western Cape where the DA governs. The DA Leader Mmusi Maimane recently declared in his Bokamoso online publication:

There are now 310 000 more jobs in the Western Cape than there were in 2009 when the DA took over from the ANC. The Western Cape now has the lowest unemployment rate in South Africa. Employment in the Western Cape has grown by a massive 9%. That’s not us saying it - the national statistics prove the difference a DA government makes.

And these outstanding results have been achieved using only three of five key levers that the DA has identified for job creation, namely: infrastructure provision, skills building, labour legislation reform, SMME (small, medium and micro enterprises) promotion and direct tax incentives.

The ANC Election Strategy

The ANC election strategy is Racism. That is without a doubt. Within the space of two months the organization has organised three Racism marches: One in the Western Cape, one in Pretoria and the other to the Standard Bank in Johannesburg.

The crux of this Racism strategy is to portray the Democratic Alliance as the embodiment of diabolism. Instead of talking about the real issues that bedevil the people, the glorious liberation movement of our people is picking on a convenient, harmless target: the DA.

In a bizarre turn during that powerful ANC march to the Union Buildings, the ANC heavyweights singled out the DA for a furious full-throttle verbal attack.

Some consider the ANC march to the Union Buildings as a waste as overall millions of rands were spent. But to the ANC the march was not a waste. The march was decisively intended to achieve one single key issue.

And here is the issue:

Create a cartoonish image of the DA. Saturate the minds of the people with this image so that people see the DA as the phantom of evil. If DA is evil - who can vote for evil? That is the strategy.

For sanity the voter should understand that Racism might be vaguely and surreptitiously felt within DA. But that is not what the party stands for.

Further it is not racists or the DA causing hardships among South Africans: corruption, ailing economy, shrinking middle class, poor routes, lack of jobs and poor living conditions in the townships and informal settlements.

The EFF Election Strategy

We now turn to the EFF.

It has taken a long time, but people are starting to realize that EFF is not a sideshow but the thrust of the millions of poor South Africans. The party stands for achieving economic freedom for majority of South Africans.

Without the EFF the voice of these millions of people would be hushed into silence by haughty, condescending politicians, calling these people filth just because they are poor. Who will forget the reports that said that Nomvula Mokonyane called the poor people of Bekkersdal filth?

And she was not misquoted. The news later came carried by all major newspapers: "Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has apologised to residents of Bekkersdal after she earlier told them that ANC does not need their “dirty votes”.

This practically illustrate the general idea raised by Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan in his Budget Vote Breakfast discussion. He said the general temperature in the country is that "leaders" are making a lot of money by making great speeches about the poor, but actually the reality is that they don't give a damn about the poor. He should know, he was a Minister in charge of local government - municipalities where there is outright stealing.

And how do these people get rich: inflated tenders, mediocre work, and abandoning projects after public money has been pocketed. Municipalities run by conmen where township roads are daubed with a thin film of tar and declared “constructed”.

I can’t quite shake off the feeling that perhaps Nomvula Mokonyane in talking about the filth, she was merely stating what she saw with her naked eyes. Most South Africans, in these townships as Bekkersdal, Alexandra and so on, are condemned to live in filthy conditions. The gutters are clogged or overflow with brackish, flea-infested sewage, the air reeks of excreta. The hospitals are non-existent or are bereft of even such rudimentary tools as syringes and bandages.

The way out of the clutter

We have stated the election strategies of the three leading political parties, but of course there are other fledgling political parties that will be decisive in this coming elections. The United Democratic Front (UDM) will be strong in the Nelson Mandela Metro. Tinges of the Freedom Front Plus (FFF) will be felt across the  City of Tshwane and the Free State.

In the misery that the economy has become, South Africans deserve nothing short of engaged, stellar leadership: diligent, focused leadership. There is great need to elevate our behaviours in the voting booth:  make sure your vote has merit and wisdom. You don’t betray anything when you vote differently.

It is good that the three political parties are contesting. What is important is that they respect each other and that there is no rigging. The die is cast but no one should die.

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