Focus on manifestos

FIRST, as Agang speaker at The Herald forum of April 8, I would like to thank the organisers for being fair and according the fastest growing party in South Africa equal time to put its case.

A consistent feature of political debates is how established parties see them as an opportunity to score points off each other, rather than to convince the undecided voter. As a result we see a lot of cheap point-scoring, shouting at each other and booing the other side.

A case in point is how the ANC supporters reacted every time someone said "Nkandla" – and most of the other parties present seemed to delight in provoking this. Agang SA is not interested in this sort of game.

We know Nkandla is a scandal and an embarrassment, but harping on one issue misses the point that it is not an anomaly. Last financial year, the government wasted R33-billion in wasteful and corrupt spending – that is one Nkandla every three days.

Focusing solely on Nkandla is like putting all attention on a holiday road death toll when there is carnage on our roads daily.

Accounting for what happened at Nkandla is an important issue that should not go away, but let us not miss the bigger picture of government dysfunction. There is more than enough money in the system to make real progress on all our country's problems without resorting to empty promises or crazy economics.

Philip Machanick, Agang Eastern Cape