COALITION POLITICS IS BECOMING A NEW NORMAL IN THE BODY-POLITIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, WRITES BENZI KA-SOKO.
The 2021 Local Government Elections has sounded a serious political warning to all political parties in South Africa.
The results that have characterized the 2021 Local Government Elections are also displaying a new political consciousness among the country’s electorate.
It should be mentioned that the recent voting posture taken by the electorate is indicative of the fact that issues have become fundamental as opposed to ideological rigidity which is obviously losing its electoral grip and political relevance.
Opposition parties should be alive to the fact that as things stand in the current political juncture, they cannot absolutely depose the ANC from power.
In the same political vein, the ANC should begin to have a high-level realization that their grip on the politics of the country is under serious threat.
The people of South Africa are gradually moving away from ideological dogmatism to basing their vote on bread and butter issues of pragmatic service delivery.
It is therefore critically important that Opposition Parties should defeat their political folly of ideological rigidity and begin to think of forming real Coalitions based on Political Pragmatism under the prevailing political circumstances.
It should be fearlessly mentioned that clinging to ideological dogma weakens Opposition Politics in South Africa.
It is an indisputable political fact that the South African Opposition is numerically weak.
This is confirmed by the fact that whilst the ANC continues to gradually lose votes, it is worth noting that it continues to be a majority party despite amassing a reduced majority.
The ANC Political Dominance can only be obliterated by the establishment of the Opposition Patriotic Front.
The current political environment will always result in the Opposition being steamrolled and vetoed in the National Assembly (Parliament), Provincial Legislatures and Municipal Councils.
The current political environment demands the merging of ideologically like-minded political parties in order to consolidate and solidify their voting power in the Opposition Benches.
Political Historians and Analysts have argued that a Super-Majority Governing Party is bad news for democracy.
It has been documented that a Super-Powerful Governing Party has tendencies of dictatorship and tyranny especially in the context of the African Continent.
Leaders of Super-Powerful Governing Parties tend to develop ballooned egos that encourage autocratic, dictatorial, totalitarian and tyrannical tendencies.
Political Multi-Partyism gets muzzled and stifled by Democratic Dictatorship brought about by Super-Powerful Governing Parties with their Super-Arrogant leaders.
AZAPO and the PAC are paying the price for their perpetual infighting as a result of factionalism and Cult of Personality that has characterized them eventuating in various splinter groups within their organizational structural systems.
These two parties are supposed to be competing with the ANC in governing the country as informed by their struggle credentials which are beyond reproach and unimpeachable.
But alas, AZAPO and the PAC are not even in the top five of the Political Hierarchy of the South African Political Anatomy.
As I argue in this opinion piece above, AZAPO and the PAC have been naively relying on Ideological Dogmatism which the electorate no longer views as politically relevant in the current political juncture.
The former Liberation Movements in the form of AZAPO, PAC and SOPA must seriously consider a Strategic Political Convergence if they hope to remain relevant in the body-politic of South Africa.
The results of the 2021 Local Government Elections have forced political parties to reconsider their relevance in the current socio-economic and political environment.
What should be happening now in the political arena is to kick-start the process of drafting technical modalities that will guide Political Coalitions going forward.
These technical modalities should be synergized with political guidelines that are influenced not by dogmatism, but by pragmatism.
With everything said and done, the electorate is interested not in the political gymnastics from political parties, but in the provision of quality service delivery to communities.
The recent behaviour of the electorate has sent a strong message to the ANC as a Governing Party with beautiful struggle credentials that they should not be taken for granted.
Governing Political Parties in Municipal Councils should prioritize the provision of quality service delivery by appointing qualified and experienced individuals in the echelons of Management.
The appointment of individuals in positions of power should no longer be based on Blind Political Loyalty but on Strict Meritocracy.
Politicians should stick to their lane and stay away from technical administrative issues, in particular, the Supply Chain Management matters.
Politicians should provide oversight leadership as clearly stipulated in the legislative framework.
Politicians must allow Management Officials to provide management leadership of municipalities without any interference and meddling.
Politicians must refrain from micro-managing officials in pursuit of fulfilling their selfish interests.
Management Officials must not compromise their professionalism by expecting small favours from corrupt politicians.
Management Officials must display their technical competencies, skills and knowledge by managing these municipalities effectively, efficiently, proficiently and through absolute professionalism.
Management Officials should refrain from abdicating their management responsibilities in pursuit of appeasing corrupt politicians.
Management Officials must not be easily intimidated as they continue managing municipalities.
For municipalities to prosper and provide quality services, they must be managed by competent strong-willed Management Officials who do not expect small favours from politicians or whomsoever.
As the country’s democracy continues to mature, we must expect nothing less, but quality service delivery from municipalities.
The scourge of corruption and malfeasance bedevilling many municipalities across the length and breadth of the country should be declared Enemy Number One.
It is the scourge of corruption and malfeasance of nepotism that has compromised service delivery in municipalities.
Corrupt Politicians would rather collapse a project if the tender was not given to their business cronies; thereby stalling service delivery to communities.
These corrupt practices must be exposed and nipped in the bud as a matter of extreme urgency.
It is now high time that we must begin to run municipalities like businesses as opposed to the current scenario wherein municipalities are used as Dumping Sites for deadwood both politically and administratively.
The Local Government sphere is critically important for it is the coalface of service delivery and therefore, it should be treated as such by all role-players in the form of Councillors, Management Officials, the Business Sector and the communities across the board.
We are all expected to play an active role in making Local Government work for the country.