There is constant outrage at what politicians get up to with regards to money spent and decisions made. Many a service delivery protest and, just recently, the public service strike actions are just a few examples of people trying to twist the proverbial arm of government in order to improve their lives. Yet I am puzzled by the fact that we do not want to use the one powerful element that we have against politicians: our vote.
No matter how powerful a politician thinks they are, the voters hold the ultimate decision as to whether or not the political party retains or loses power. The ANC and ANCYL can run around threatening people and their lives simply because they have the smug belief that they will not lose power in the foreseeable future. They play on the insecurities of many black people, hinting and even blatantly stating that anyone else in power other than the ANC would ruin this country of ours.
And like Pavlov’s dog, people salivate at the sound of apartheid induced rhetoric.
To rectify this situation, we need to actively participate in the political and educational landscape of our nation. We need to speak to the current powers that be and remind them that our votes are not for sale and if they do not deliver as they said they would and are more concerned with personal gain, then we will look elsewhere for someone to run our country. This cannot be realised unless we begin to upgrade the conversations our people are having; we need to focus more on what our country needs and stop focusing on political and emotional loyalty to a party because it is run by black people. The younger generation needs to be open-minded enough to look beyond skin colour and see that solutions don’t lie in what we grew up knowing, but in embracing the unknown aspects of our political landscape.
Even though there are no perfect politicians, I would rather we use our power to see what others can do and not rely on the regurgitated promises that the current political party spews out every four years.