This week has brought about some interesting revelations. And even as it comes to a close, we have to sit down and think about the implications that these situations tell us about our nation.
Firstly, the Gauteng premier, Nomvula Mokonyane, expressed surprise at the road agency’s announcement that they were to install tolls on the highway, something that should have not taken them by surprise according to some commentators. In fact, it is clear that these plans would not have gone ahead without the provincial government being very aware of what was happening – yet she seems to be “fighting for the masses” in her current stance on the situation. But how long will that last? What will happen after the local government elections are through – will she not change her stance as if it was a great idea in the first place?
Then there is the national police commissioner Bheki Cele, who claims to have no real involvement in the R500 million rand lease agreement for new police headquarters. The blame is being shifted to the Department of Public Works, while he claims that all he did was “sign the needs analysis” and that’s it. The question is, how do you sign a R500 MILLION deal without knowing what you are signing? It either means the police commissioner is irresponsible and careless or he thinks we are stupid.
Both cases are a blatant disregard for the intelligence of the populace and even the law. Yet we seem to be very good at reacting and not at all at preventing such things from happening. When it comes to elections, it seems we lose sight of the real issues and we are constantly divided into different camps by the very political parties who say they are fighting our battles. From the ANC who claim fading struggle credentials in all they do, to the DA who can’t seem to get enough of public attacks on the ANC as their campaign motto. These issues that sit on our doorstep (and so many more) only seem to matter during elections, while in-between it seems no one cares to deliver, with provincial governments ending up under-spending on money given to them to use to better the very people they serve.
And when there are service delivery strikes, everyone seems surprised.
The other pressing question is: what will happen to the Public Prosecutor, Thuli Madonsela? Will she be praised publicly by the president and others, while behind closed doors they plan her demise? Has it become so bad that doing your job honestly costs you everything? The future many people’s allegiance hangs in the balance and if President Zuma is not careful, he might find himself suffering the same fate that his predecessor did, as the former president was in denial about important issues. And if the president missteps with this issues, it will mark the beginning of the end of the strength of his convictions or his party’s power.
So my recommendation is simple: let us register to vote and make it clear to the candidates that we no longer can be lead around by the nose with promises of change. We hold the power to remove any and all public servants from their positions and put someone else (even from a different party) in their place. The continued lack of involvement in political decisions that affect us is no longer an excuse we can use to get by – the government should not be in a position of being able to walk all over us just because we voted them into power. Lines that were once clear with regards to party allegiance are slowly changing, especially amongst the younger, more educated people.