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Opinionista

Obsession with race impedes the progress and emancipation of black people in Africa

Bonginkosi Madikizela is Western Cape DA leader and WC Minister of Transport and Public Works.

South Africans need to confront their fears, bite the bullet and try something different. What is there to lose?

When the country made the transition to a democratic dispensation in 1994, South Africans had high hopes for a better life as promised by the ANC. Many South Africans, black people in particular, had endured years of suffering, discrimination and economic exclusion under the apartheid government. But since 1994, we have watched the ANC crush those dreams. 

Today, more South Africans, particularly black people, are excluded from the mainstream economy and are poorer and more marginalised. The dream of a better life has become a nightmare because leaders of this ANC government have turned their backs on their people, looting state resources for their own benefit and those close to them. Only 28% of eligible voters and 38% of registered voters voted for the ANC in 2019, it is not impossible to vote them out.

South Africans have given this government more than 26 years of their trust, only to be repeatedly disappointed by leadership that has destroyed our economy through corruption and incompetence. People are always reminded about houses, electricity, water, etc that this government has provided them, as if it was a favour, when much more could have, and should have, been done to empower them.

Many black South Africans are still trapped and imprisoned by the politics of race. They are emotionally blackmailed by being reminded about the past and to vote for the ANC in every election. The people have done so without fail, digging the hole they are in deeper every time they do. People seem to be looking for South African solutions from a party with only a black leader – this is the biggest impediment for Africa. Black people should stop believing this hogwash that it is only a government under a black leader that can look after their interest.

Enough is enough. It is time to take a bold step and vote the ANC out of power. For once South Africans must confront their fears, bite the bullet and try something different. You have nothing more to lose that you haven’t lost already. We have rights that are protected in our Constitution. It is only ANC propaganda that says the Democratic Alliance (DA) will bring back apartheid.

I call upon all South Africans to give the DA a chance. The DA has proven to be a diverse party of good and clean governance. It is not perfect, it has made many mistakes, but the DA is the only party who takes voters and taxpayers seriously. Year after year, the Auditor General’s reports and many other institutions confirm this. We want a competent government, not a black or a white government. As Nelson Mandela once said: “I don’t care if the cat is black or white, as long as it catches the mice.”

The DA doesn’t steal your money through corruption, and where the allegations of corruption are reported, it doesn’t waste time in dealing with it. The DA has delivered more jobs and more basic services despite massive immigration to the Western Cape. The shenanigans on how personal protective equipment money was squandered during this pandemic should send a loud message – the ANC does not care and black lives do not matter to them.

It is time to unite all people of South Africa and address race divisions which is only ANC propaganda that has been used for years to divide us. To portray the DA as a racist party is a wit gevaar tactic that has kept the ANC in power despite its spectacular failures. LET’S NOT FALL FOR IT. After liberation, most African countries under black leaders have worsened economically because of greed and corruption and they have killed their own people to remain in power using race as a scapegoat.

Racism and many other “isms” are problems the world is still grappling with. Racists, homophobes, rapists and abusers are part of our society. Some are even part of the DA, and denying that would be disingenuous. Therefore, the DA is part of the society that is grappling with these problems, and so are other parties. It is misleading to label the DA as the only party faced with these challenges. Many black South Africans do not vote for the DA because they fear it will bring back apartheid, but the ANC government is doing that already. 

We want a country that is run by competent people, it doesn’t matter what the colour of their skin is. We must build investor confidence, economic growth, job creation and empowerment of small businesses based on their competence, not their political connections. That is how you build a country and empower its people. 

The obsession with race is the reason our country is collapsing right under our feet. DM

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