If the Democratic Alliance Ran South Africa

Picture credit: Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille courtesy Democratic Alliance/flickr.

Glenn Ashton - The Democratic Alliance in power and Zille as President. What would South Africa be like? There are lessons to be learned from Cape Town and the Western Cape that have been under DA control since 2006 and 2009 respectively. The City of Cape Town is dominated by white males. Would a DA run national government be much different? Unlikely: 34 of the 67 present MPs are pale males, 15 are white women. Clearly 73% white is not representative of our national demographic. How does the DA hope to persuade black voters that it is not an apartheid relic?


Why the Poor Vote for the ANC

Picture credit: Kids Britannica Mohamed Motala - The ANC is set to receive about 60% of the vote nationally largely from voters living below the poverty line. For middle class South Africans it is a perplexing contradiction that the ANC continues to stay in power. The party goes on at Nkandla with its swimming pool, underground bunker, cattle kraal and chicken coops to celebrate, feast and protect President Jacob Zuma. There is even a plan to build an entirely new town in the president's home village. How is the ANC able to do all this in full view of the desperately poor and still get large numbers of poor South Africans to vote for it?

Vote No

Picture credit: Ronnie Kasrils, Former Minister of Intelligence Services in South Africa Richard Pithouse - Alistair Sparks, , has opined that the 'Vukani Sidikwe' or 'Vote No' campaign led by Ronnie Kasrils and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge will not make an "iota of difference" and that the "ANC will not be shaken at all." He's right in so far as the campaign is unlikely to make an iota of difference to who wins the election and by how much. But the often cartoonish vitriol directed at Kasrils in particular, as well as the 'Vote No' campaign in general, shows that Sparks is entirely wrong about the ANC being left unshaken by the campaign.

Misrepresenting the Causes of Unemployment

Picture credit: Betakit John Treat and Enver Motala - While finding solutions to South Africa's high rate of unemployment continues to occupy a leading place in national debate, on-going strikes over wages and working conditions are still met with threats of job cuts from employers. At the same time, mainstream discussions of unemployment are dominated by voices allied to the corporate sector that unfortunately also fail to recognise the structural nature of unemployment under the prevailing economic system. This has profound implications for the interventions that are considered when addressing the problem of joblessness. It is time to alter the discourse. We need a more honest engagement with the structural causes of unemployment in our public debates.

Labour-Community Alliances Must Be Strengthened

Picture credit: All-free-download.com Dale T. McKinley - Messy alliance politics are clouding issues in the run up to the 2014 general election, but community organisations and civil society groups across the country have welcomed moves by NUMSA to forge an independent and anti-capitalist united front of the broad working class. For the first time in democratic South Africa, a COSATU-aligned union has openly declared that it no longer wants to be in a political alliance with the ANC. NUMSA's moves are embryonic and it remains to be seen if stated intent can be translated into practice, but the door is officially opened to new possibilities for South Africa.

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