Letter: Too many political parties

Makhosi Khoza
Picture: Simphiwe Nkwali

Forming a new grouping often done for selfish ends and income it brings

How different is Dr Makhosi Khoza’s new political party – African Democratic Change – from the existing registered political parties?

According to Independent Electoral Commission information sourced from its website, there are 556 registered political parties in South Africa. There is not a single province with less than 10 registered political parties.

In the 2014 national and provincial elections, 29 political parties were registered to contest the elections and only 13 managed to get representation in parliament.

With the launch of the new political party earlier this month led by former ANC MP Khoza, it is obvious that the number of registered political parties to contest the 2019 national and provincial elections has increased.

Many of us may only be aware of the newly launched African Democratic Change as a result of the media coverage that Khoza has received for her outspokenness against President Jacob Zuma and her former political party, the ANC.

It is my considered view that there are already enough political parties in South Africa and Khoza should have taken her time to identify the political party that represented her vision and joined it, instead of forming her own political party, thus promoting further proliferation of personality-based political parties in South Africa.

These are often about individual interests of the leaders and close associates.

These new political parties are often formed for selfish reasons and have little to do with the intention to serve our people.

There are some leaders who often find it very difficult in their hearts and minds to be led by others, thus forming their own political parties remains the only choice. They always need to be in charge and control with no threat to their power.

If it is true that Khoza, after her resignation from the ANC, felt that she still needed to contribute positively towards the development and strengthening of democracy in South Africa, forming a new political party is certainly not the only option available to her.

She could have continued with her fight against corruption and activism as a social activist or at least joined some of the existing social movements.

Khoza has acted within her constitutional right and did not commit any criminal offence.

However, one feels that there are some unscrupulous political leaders in South Africa who continue to exploit and abuse these constitutional provisions.

And I sincerely believe that if there were no lucrative salary package and benefits linked to the positions of a councillor, member of provincial legislature and member of parliament , many of today’s politicians would not be willing to serve our people for a single day.

These new political parties are not formed to serve the people, but to serve the selfish interests of the leaders.

This recurring problem of the mushrooming of new political parties instead of strengthening the existing 556 political parties in South Africa represents selfishness at its best.

The launching of the new political parties does not fundamentally change the lives of our people, they are certainly meant to benefit individual leaders and associates.

Over the years, many of us in South Africa have observed that the person who forms the new political party for whatever reason(s) becomes the permanent leader.

For as long as his or her bread is buttered on both sides, there is guaranteed monthly income which is also linked to being a party leader in parliament, and the daily needs of our people in many informal settlements, villages, farms and townships are reduced to the five-year electoral cycle rituals.

Unscrupulous political leaders have identified this gap and are using it to their advantage.

-LESEGO SECHABA MOGOTSI, MEMBER OF AZAPO COMMITTEE ON PUBLICITY AND INFORMATION, TSHWANE, GAUTENG

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