The recent elections and deafening voice of sheer disappointment by the general public regarding their dissatisfaction with the available political options proved that age-old politics have somewhat run its course. If I may spend some time interpreting the recent chaos that was the 2019 Elections, I would start by calling it a huge swing and a miss by opposition parties as a whole.
Firstly, the only winner that immerged out of these elections would appear to be the Freedom Front Plus (VF+), which does speak volumes in itself. I am no expert on the subject, but at a glance, it does seem as if the VF+ is being empowered as the defense against the radical EFF in some ways. Their slogan in itself certainly advocates it by boldly rallying a call to “Fight Back”. With the dust all but settling, I wish to offer my views.
As a nation, we seem to find ourselves in a somewhat peculiar position in that, on the one hand, we have a clear agenda by the “faceless men” operating behind the scenes that are hell-bent on dividing the nation. On the other hand, we have naïve aspiring politicians not fully understanding the game being played, attempting to run with the big boys. All of which is culminating in a huge gap being felt by the nation at large. How this will all play out is as anyone’s guess at this stage, but what does seem fairly certain is that it is set to get a lot more uncomfortable before the die is cast.
While the general public’s attention is drawn to matters like White Monopoly Capital, Land Expropriation without Compensation and Gr.4 Sex Education. The real agenda is subtly being smuggled through undetected and away from the general public’s eye. The EFF is doing a stellar job at recruiting and appealing to the youth with their radical policies; while the VF+ has managed to carve out a niche by appealing to the afraid and intimidated minorities. The DA has lost their distinctive voice and has been somewhat exposed, much like a male finding himself in the female toilets. If one should mention the ACDP, I would like it to a tortoise that finds itself in the middle of a stampede. Often slipping its head out to see what is happening around, but generally too scared and slow to react.
For most parts, politics in South Africa and Africa is in desperate need of a redesign with the specific goal of authenticating it to the needs and requirements of Africans. Campaigning in South Africa needs to be changed and reassessed by political parties as well. Posters on a lamp post have for most parts been nothing more than a nuisance and sheer waste of resources than anything else.
If any political party is serious about being relevant and growing its voice and influence among the people and political landscape in South Africa, it will need to develop a holistic strategy that aligns their objectives with that of their targeted audience and work towards finding a synergy between the two. People have changed, politics have changed, technology has advanced, and people have evolved. Any political party still following the old handbook will continue to waste resources in a futile exercise of trying to garner support from the wrong audience. And in my humble opinion; no well-written manifesto, amount of posters on a pole, or Facebook posts will change that.
R.I.P Politics of Yesteryear…