SOUTH AFRICANS GEAR UP FOR CHANGE
*Caption: Newlands East Democratic Alliance (DA) Spokesperson, Taniel Watson (left) pictured with other local DA members
Written by: Adryan Ogle
From a previously disadvantaged people, South Africans have fought imperialism and inequity and have transitioned to what is considered to be an egalitarian state.
Many South Africans voted in the municipal elections that took place on the 3rd of August 2016. The events leading up the golden casts were nothing, but peaceful. Blood, brutality and chaos ensued in order to sway some voters or deter others, but citizens strived on, recognising the importance of voting.
Change was the motive behind many citizens voting that day. Voting stations within the community of Newlands East were well utilised. The locals strongly believed in participating in such elections in order to actively bring about change. Newlands East Democratic Alliance (DA) spokesperson, Taniel Watson, felt that the turnout had been good.
“All we want is change,” Watson said.
Jeannette Lortan, a senior member of the community, encouraged other citizens to seize such opportunities.
“I’ve been voting ever since I’ve been able to vote. You must vote, otherwise there’s no meaning to any situation,” added Lortan.
Fast forward to the subsequent days in which many nationwide anticipated the results of the elections which saw the ANC lose 50% majority in five key metros. Particularly the loss of the City of Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay were enough to dampen the ruling party’s spirits. However, the ANC obtained a vote of 58.74% in Buffalo City, with a number of 60 seats, while the DA followed with 23.4% and 24 seats and the EFF with 7.97% and 8 seats. The metros have seen new mayors elected. DA councillor Lynn Pannall was elected as the mayor of Mogale City, Solly Msimanga the mayor of Tshwane and Athol Trollip the mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, just to mention a few. Despite coalition talks, the EFF had decided not to go into coalition with anyone but had agreed to vote with another party in selecting the best candidate to serve the people within a metro.
The South African Constitution stands to protect the people of South Africa. According to Chapter 7, section 152 of The Constitution, the objects of local government are:
to provide democratic and accountable government for local communities; to ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner; to promote social and economic development; to promote a safe and healthy environment; and to encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in the matters of local government.
Feuds have ensued between political parties and have left the citizens caught in the crossfire. An effect of such feuds between parties is the numerous deaths that have been recorded during the campaigning period. It is alleged that councillors all over the country have been murdered for their affiliations and involvements with certain parties.
Recently, subsequent to a number of private organisations pulling their funding from various parastatals, Deputy President Cyril Rampahosa said “The events of the past few weeks have been a concern for many South Africans and we care for all those involved to take care that whatever they should not lead to destabilising our economy.”
South Africans will be voting again in a couple of years – this time in the national elections. They will once again use their prerogative in determining the best suitors to lead the country. Despite the declining economy and increasing unemployment, many believe that there is always hope.