I was born an English speaking white South African. Before I get too far into my election story, lets clear up a few things. I was never consulted about this, NEVER chose to be born, NEVER chose to be born white, NEVER chose to born into an English family, NEVER chose to be born in Africa, especially NEVER in South Africa. I just landed here, (the stork brought me, according to my mother), no questions asked or answered! Of course, none of this would have been a problem, except that I am not the preferred shade of light brown. To top it, previously I was part of the wrong language group!
Must admit though, I do love life here and adore the country, especially when politics doesn’t enter into it…
Our 2014 elections were very well run, I was taken through quickly with pensioners privilege, at 56 years old, I wasn’t sure if I should feel insulted. In less than an hour voting was done and dusted and I was visiting a chain store on the way back to my cosy cottage in Benoni North A/h Plots.
Prior to every election, we, both blacks and whites, (dark & light browns), spend many hours discussing all the issues. We argue about the ruling party’s lack of performance through this term, plus the corruption, conservatively estimated at about 20% of our annual budget. Lots of our dark browns have not received their free RDP houses, or electricity, or water, or sanitation services. But President Zuma’s family, that is his wives and children, keeps growing in number. Then there is Zuma’s R 214,000,000 upgrade to Nkhandla, his Zulu mansion and multilevel complex, built with tax payers money. His friends get approval to use a our military facilities for their personal parties and guests private aerodrome. Zuma’s old friend and former allie, Julias Malema suddenly being persecuted for opposing Zuma and the ANC Government.
All these discussions leads us, (the light browns), into believing that we are truly making some progress in South Africa, that there was medium to long term hope of some real change and improvement to everyone’s lives. Dream on fellow South Africans!
What we don’t realise is that voting is not about our hopes or dreams, or even about future growth as a nation, or about creating critically needed JOBS. Which really should have been the emphasis from Mandela’s time.
It’s more about scaring your electorate, put the fear of the past into your voters. Fear that the light browns, us, will bring back Apartheid if the dark browns stand with us to try to clean up our government and change our country for the better.
I am sure voters are also motivated by the 390 odd Billion Rand spent on government grants, paid for by us taxpayers. The credit goes to ANC Government who claim its to redress the imbalances of the past. Is this not a perfectly legal form of bribery? Isn’t this is why our dark brown brothers speak reform, but actually vote ANC? As the poor are in the vast majority in South Africa, there might not be much political will by the ANC to change that status…
Winning an election, followed by celebrations, is not like winning a football cup, election supporters must remember there will be at least 5 years of consequences. And as I can’t afford to drive anywhere on our Johannesburg highways right now, due to the high cost of tolls, road taxes, high fuel price including the ±68% of that price going to the Government coffers, all of this will result in me looking for a better paying job.
In five years time, we optimists, will be having the same discussions all over again, and guess what, probably with the same results. Looking at the election statistics, things are changing slowly, ultimately this will lead to creating jobs and more prosperity for those who are lucky enough to be in work.
Did I say South African Election or Zimbabwean? Funny how all these liberation party stories are so very similar. Saying all of this, we must count our blessings, I remember a time, (apartheid), when we were not allowed to criticize, the dark browns were not allowed to vote, use toilets or park benches… Viva ANC, viva! Long live! Long live!