Globally billions suffer at the hands of repressive regimes. Across Africa and the third world the story repeats itself. Behind the politics there are reasons how despotism fortifies and why people suffer.
In 1947 in the House of Commons, Winston Churchill said “Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”.
Since those with money and hidden agendas usually manipulate politics, governance is problematic. Revolutions can arise anywhere in Africa and the third world depending on whose interests are at stake. Egypt is a typical example. When democratically elected governments are toppled by insidious activities, chaos will ensure and those with agendas have opportunity to operationalize their plans.
In these difficult settings how must ordinary people protect themselves from those who manipulate governance processes in favour of a group or dogma? Alan Moore in his novel V for Vendetta suggests “People should not be afraid of government, governments should be afraid of their people.”
This implies that local voters must consider reducing the African National Congress majority on a national level to moderate their general ineptitude. Maybe a shock at the polls would motivate the ANC to ensure that all departments and municipalities hasten with delivery and achieve clean audits. Voters must also reduce the Democratic Alliance arrogance and gluttony for absolute control locally.
Should the DA and ANC attain fewer votes in the 2016 municipal election, political humility may prevail? Support for independent regional parties may cause introspection among the two big parties?
The objective is to keep the ruling parties liable in all municipalities. Voters must dilute the vote to allow greater diversity of opinion. While this may not always be useful, it should be noted that, despotism often has its origins in arrogant political governance by majority parties.
Voters must consider the manner in which the ANC handled the Nkandla/ESKOM/TELKOM and other scandals. Also if DA arrogance and lust for unlimited power at the expense of rate and taxpayers are not kept in check, autocracy could ensure.
For example the Finance Portfolio Committee receives reports from sections which include the Debt Management Action Report, the Traffic Fine Report and so on. The irony is that the City is making huge profits from traffic fines which increased from R142 366 407 to R227 116 046 over the year.
The Debt Management Action Report also indicates how the City squeezes the public by limiting water and electricity. It lists the army of law firms that strong arm locals to pay. Against the City an average person does not stand a chance when moves are afoot to squeeze revenue.
By any national standard the City of Cape Town is an efficient revenue collecting machine, which is an admirable quality when equated to other municipalities in South Africa.
While some officials are efficient, where is the value when politicians waste millions of ratepayer’s money on hair-brain schemes? To date, not even leading DA politicians know how much money was lost with the Crystal Palace soccer scandal weeks after the event.
In the words of the wise, what is the purpose of national and local government squeezing locals for income with increased rates and taxes and then ANC and DA politicians waste the money?
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress