THE DA is and for the foreseeable future will be the only real opposition to the beast that is the ANC. A vote for any other opposition party is undoubtedly a vote wasted.
Therefore if anyone wants to see change in the way our republic is (mis)managed he or she had better vote for the DA, or at least logic dictates thus. This leads me to my question then: what would encourage a prospective voter actually to vote for the DA?
In the absence of a proven track record in governance voting for a new or alternative party is really no more than a leap of faith. This of course coming from the perspective of a disillusioned former ANC supporter.
When I posed this question to a coloured friend he was quick to point out that the DA does have a track record and an exemplary one at that, eKapa. He then enumerated its many successes in the Western Cape.
Why then, I asked, is the DA not gaining more ground nationally? My friend again listed various reasons, such as voting along racial lines, the historical significance of the ANC for black people, misinformation sewn by the ANC, the iron hold chieftains and other tribal leaders have on their people especially those in rural areas and the unjustified fear black people have that, as a predominantly white party, the DA could actually reintroduce apartheid.
But ultimately it came down to being unable to lure black people away from the ANC or rather to turn those who have been “lured” away into DA voters.
Although I agreed with his sentiments I have a few of my own. Opposition parties fail dismally to understand the dynamic that is South Africa.
If the DA then is such an effective ruler why did it not eradicate the bucket system? Why are people still living in shacks?
Why are still so many in the Western Cape without electricity?
It is a fact that it won the Western Cape on the back of the coloured vote. Why then are coloured people’s lives not improving?
Why are Manenberg, Atlantis, Bishop Lavis, Steenberg and Lotus River, which are coloured neighbourhoods, always in the news for gang violence or some sort of protest? Is improving these people’s lives really a priority for the party or are they only good for their votes?
In fact is the DA not merely another version of the ANC – just as corrupt, just as uncaring and power hungry?
Everybody knows the ANC is inept. So? Stop trying to convince people of this. The DA needs to do those things the ANC will not do. Build houses for every South African no matter the cost. All the arguments as to why it is impossible to do this hold no water.
The only argument is around prioritisation. First provide adequate housing, education and healthcare, the major challenges facing the poor.
Supply water and electricity to every South African. Deal swiftly and decisively with those who are corrupt, from the lowest public servant to the highest paid chief executive or MP.
Stop taking the ANC to court. Use the entire legal budget to build houses and eradicate the bucket system.
If the DA can achieve these things in the Western Cape there is no reason why it cannot win the next elections.
It needs to court a different kind of black person. At the moment it is attracting and appointing middle class blacks. These people by virtue of their social standing have long since lost the ear of the poor blacks and understand them as little as their white counterparts do.
People don’t want to see black people who sound like whites telling them what they should be doing. They want to be able to identify with their representatives.
The real problem those of us who have stopped voting ANC have is the real opposition is and seems always will be a middle class party. For in its zeal to accommodate its core base of white middle class supporters the DA has only succeeded in further alienating the votes that really matter, that is the ones that win elections and that is the vote of the black poor.
R Memma, Kliprand, Kleinskool, Port Elizabeth