Thru experience I have learnt that it is beneficial to express opinions considerately and with qualified research. This is particularly relevant when addressing those who hold leadership and political office.
This behaviour infuriates my detractors who suggest that I am politically indulgent. I am frequently confronted by critics who demand to know why I am not more aggressive, obnoxious or scornful towards the city leaders. Though I usually suggest that the critic write their own letter to the editor, I continue to consider why acrimony and enmity is considered necessary in any political interaction.
My research suggests that those who are the most ferocious are usually those who are least able to qualify and contextualize their responses tactfully. The result is belligerence and hostility which is best displayed through emotional rhetoric and verbal posturing. With vague innuendoes and obtuse utterances those who are unable to verbalise intelligent thought, revert to insults to retort researched opinion. Phrases like the “ANC did not lead the struggle” or ‘Apartheid is to blame for current serve delivery failure” comes to mind. In my opinion, in this lack of ability, lies the conundrum.
Since I have been a Councillor and an official in both DA and ANC administrations, I have a general understanding of what skills are currently available in both parties. That there are more politicians than community workers in both parties is problematic. The ideal is to ensure that those capable of service deliver remain the majority and that those who are part of the political apparatus do not dictate. If the apparatus dominates, navel gazing and political contestation regarding theorems and policy will become the order of the day and limited service delivery will be achieved.
Democracy proposes regular, free and fair elections. If voters have a choice and vote ignorantly, then it is not the fault of the electoral process. For example, the ANC often states that it wants to replace the DA in this province, what exactly is it that they intend to do differently. If the Cape is worse-off under DA rule, where in S-Africa is an example of a “better life for all”? How will the ANC resolve service delivery in this province if the ANC struggles do so in the rest of the country?
Similarly, the DA continues to call on political parties to unite and minimize the ANC nationally. How will the DA resolve national unemployment if it is unable to create work in Cape Town? How will the DA defuse regional conflicts if it cannot stop gangsterism and drugs dealers in Mitchel Plain? Can the DA be trust to champion issues of transformation? What role has the DA played in reducing the gap between rich and poor regionally?
Resources cannot be an excuse for the lack of service delivery. As a start, both parties should discontinue the futile rhetoric and explain to the tax and ratepayers why they spend R50 billion on stadiums they knew would be a long term financial liability.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress