Election fever is in the air…if its not the US elections that everyone’s buzzing about, then here in South Africa, early campaigning has started in earnest, with the (now split) ANC carrying out “outreach” programmes in various communities, in the buildup to next year’s presidential elections.
So I decided to sacrifice a Sunday afternoon (which I normally spend doing things, I’d rather not mention on this blog : ), and go along to one such “outreach” meeting. Having sworn to never align myself to any party political agenda, this meeting was a reminder for me, about why I had decided to take such a position, in the first place. The audience was “treated” to a visit down memory lane, to be reminded about the ANC’s great legacy. I nodded at the bits about the party leadership up till 1996…pretty much everything that has happened within the ANC since then, has for me, left much to be desired. Let me not be misunderstood however….the ruling party has brought a level of political stability to South Africa, that is, compared to other African nations, impressive and worthy of being praised. However it has also been the party, under who’s leadership, there is now a greater gap between rich and poor, more HIV infections, and greater levels of poverty and crime.
So the ANC tries to, at this outreach meeting, convince those attending, that it still has the interests of ALL at heart. I don’t doubt this…I’m just wondering though, how committed the party is, to showing this in some substantive way, like actually rejecting its neoliberal agenda, and refocusing its efforts on addressing the concerns of the poor masses, those people who have consistently voted the party into power, since 1994. I have however yet to see this really happening, since the Polokwane conference last year.
Hmmm….I wait with bated breath…after all election fever is in the air. Anything can happen.