We do have alternatives to the ANC


IT was a delight to be invited to SABC 1’s Daily Thetha TV show early this week, to participate in a discussion on South Africa’s democracy and the…


IT was a delight to be invited to SABC 1’s Daily Thetha TV show early this week, to participate in a discussion on South Africa’s democracy and the evolution of the voter. It was my second time on the show. My first time was in July 2020, when I had been invited to discuss the scourge of poverty in South Africa.

A few months before the election, this week’s dialogue came at the right time.

Three opposition parties were represented on the show – Build One South Africa (BOSA), South African Rainbow Alliance (SARA) and Rise Mzansi.  The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) was represented by Moagisi Sibanda.

During the first thirty minutes of the show, most guests held a view that it’s opposition parties that must be blamed for ANC’s current dominance – that the opposition hasn’t offered the alternative to the ANC. I found that view counterproductive.

The point I made was that we have a lot of work to do in educating our citizens on the principles and fundamentals of democracy – how democracy works. It seems many people don’t understand how it works and are afraid of change.

The notion that there is no alternative party that could govern South Africa – and probably do a better job at that – is nonsense. There are hundreds of political parties contesting this year’s election. How can we think we don’t have alternatives? The political parties that were invited to the show, are the alternatives to ANC’s incompetent, corrupt governance. The Multiparty Coalition led by the DA is a good alternative to the ANC. It’s led by largely sensible people.

In the Multiparty Coalition, there are two parties with experience in governance; the IFP that governed KwaZulu – Natal from 1994 to 2004, and the DA that currently governs the Western Cape. What another alternative do we want?

Colleen Makhubela of SARA fully agreed with me. She said that people must choose to bring change if the status quo under the ANC doesn’t do them any good.

Political analyst Prince Mashele has repeatedly said that South Africans must not be afraid to bring change.  In one of his interviews on State of the Nation, a podcast hosted by Mike Sham, Mashele said that a coalition led by the DA, Action SA and IFP, would be good for South Africa. He was correct.

These three parties would bring better governance on both foreign and domestic policy issues.

Democracy is about holding leaders to account if they don’t perform. South Africans must fully understand that staying at home and saying that there are no alternatives, when there are, is counterproductive for our country.

The issues as we head to the election are clear. They range from sky high crime to an economy that underperforms and can’t create jobs rapidly. Corruption remains a serious problem and blackouts persist.

In the latest Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, South Africa scored its lowest score ever. Reporting on the Index, Daily Maverick wrote “South Africa now falls into the category of ‘flawed democracies’. The latest annual Corruption Perceptions Index says efforts to fight public sector corruption are faltering.”

Ramaphosa’s administration has failed to quell corruption. Given this reality about the dire state of South Africa under the ANC, there ought to be no confusion on the matters of “alternatives to the ANC”. Citizens who want change in the country cannot be confused by anything.

There is nothing new the ANC can offer South Africans at this point. Their time has expired. New faces must run the country now.

In one of my recent YouTube videos, I highlighted President Ramaphosa’s ignorance on matters of basic education. More than 81% of Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning, according to the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study. That’s a catastrophe.

Yet, when President Ramaphosa addressed attendees at the 10th Education International Africa Regional Conference in Sandton last November, he spoke about “decolonisation of education”, racism, introducing robots in public schools; instead of addressing the basics that our democracy lacks and needs, and that is proficiency in reading and numeracy amongst learners.

It’s not only Ramaphosa we should criticize on basic education; we should also criticize the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga.

South Africa is outperformed by poorer countries in the African continent when it comes to educational outcomes. That’s dismal failure by the ANC.

On fighting crime, Ramaphosa should have learned from Nayib Bukele the President of El Salvador.

During his first term, Bukele waged a war against gangs who ran his country, and he’s won. In two years, crime has plummeted in El Salvador. In last weekend’s election, Bukele won with a landslide, winning more than 80% of the vote. Why? Because people of El Salvador approve of Bukele’s war against criminals, and they now feel safer.

Ramaphosa and police minister Bheki Cele must adopt Bukele’s approach in suppressing and fighting South Africa’s violent crime. A tougher stance against criminals would be supported by South Africans.

In my closing statement during the Daily Thetha Show, I said that there are alternatives to the ANC and people must go out and vote. In closing this column, I will repeat – South Africa does have alternatives. Don’t stay at home – go vote! PM

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