The usual saying is “grab the bull by the horns”, which normally refers to the need for people to tackle the issues that they have head on. This type of strategy usually helps people face their fears and understand that they can overcome all obstacles that they face. However, when it comes to the political landscape that we are experiencing now, especially with less than a week to go before the municipal elections, political parties don’t seem to be facing their problems but rather are trying to nullify their effects.
First it was the DA who caused a stink when it was revealed that they built toilets in Makhaza without enclosures. There was widespread media coverage of the situation, especially when the ANCYL in the Western Cape went to the township and tore down the corrugated iron enclosures that were erected by the City of Cape Town. We all witnessed the aggression which was applied in tearing these enclosures down, and to a large extent sympathised with their actions and the plight of the people of Makhaza. No doubt the DA was wrong not to enclose these toilets, which brought embarrassment to the community if one decided to use these open toilets. A charge of racism can easily be levelled at the DA because none of the residents in affluent areas would ever get not stand for open toilets, or even outside toilets.
However, the ANC seems to be able to dish it out yet not be able to take it in. When it was brought to light that the ANC-run Moqhaka municipality in Viljoenskroon in the Free State had the same open toilet problem, blame shifting occurs and “tough action” is called for. And the most ironic element of this situation is that the ANCYL, who brought the Western Cape government to court over the issue, ended up exposing the ANC to the same thing. Yet the ANC saga was worse, as it had been 7 years since the toilets were built and left unenclosed; and unlike the 51 toilets that the DA had to deal with, the ANC were faced with a massive 1600 open toilets, which they claimed to know nothing about.
So the lesson here is clear: if you trying to point out how terrible everyone else is and how great you are, it is always advisable to know thyself. For what does it say about the ANC when their toilet saga stretches over 7 years? Does it not say they could care less, while they call the DA racist? The most annoying aspect of this whole situation is that after the elections, when everyone has acquired the desired results, there will barely be any political visits made by senior leaders to these municipalities, until the next election period comes around.
In trying to win the voters, both the ANC and the DA must be careful that as they try to grab the opponent’s bull by the balls, that they are not kicking their own.