It’s the run-up to elections – and we all know what that means. Now is the time that politicians remember there are people out there whom they have forgotten since the last elections. They know that they need the masses and do everything they can to get our votes. Right next door to where I live, construction of RDP houses has resumed again. The community has been sitting with the foundation slabs of their houses since the previous election. Now, construction is taking place at a rapid rate.
Political parties now also take it upon themselves to decide for us what is real and what is not, and what is good for us and what is not. For example, the ANC’s provincial secretary in the Eastern Cape, Oscar Mabuyane, found it offensive that former Eastern Cape premier Nosimo Balindlela, through her organisation Balindlela Poverty Alleviation Foundation, was distributing piglets to communities to start farming projects.
Balindlela has been linked to the DA. Mabuyane questioned the timing of this just a year before the elections. Quoted in the news, he called this an act of desperation to ingratiate the DA with the masses. My question is whether Mabuyane even stopped to ask the community how they felt about the situation. Did he find out whether they felt they were being bought by the DA?
I doubt that he did, because his first reaction tells me he has no interest in what the people he claims to represent feel about the project. His reaction tells me that in his mind the beneficiaries of this project are not human beings with families, but only votes that can be bought.
The ANC felt so offended by this act of kindness that instead of looking at the benefits of this project and embracing it, they made it sound like a horrible thing. In fact, it was reported that Mabuyane regarded this as a “smelly, immoral attempt” by the DA to win votes. “These acts of desperation for votes have now degenerated into swine politics, as Balindlela and her team appear to be spending more time in the pigsty collecting piglets for distribution than doing anything cogent,” he was quoted as saying.
What is more surprising to me is that it’s the ANC that’s concerned about people buying votes. In the past it has been standard practice for the ANC to deliver handouts and food parcels as election time approaches – everyone knows this.
Otherwise, how do we explain the accelerated service delivery that took place at exactly the same time the piglets were given to these communities?
Who is fooling whom?
If reports are true, the beneficiaries of the project were very happy, saying they had been given the opportunity to become small-scale pig farmers. The ANC itself had identified agriculture as the industry of choice for development, job creation and poverty alleviation in the rural areas. But they did not make it clear that it was only true when they were the ones driving the process.
Come on, chaps, get over yourselves and stop thinking that South Africans are just a bunch of cheap votes that can be bought!