South Africa goes to the polls May 8th 2019, in what I believe is the country’s first adult election.
Voters no longer have the luxury of dreaming of rainbows and no longer can afford to take any party at their word. We no longer can afford to laugh uproariously at a President who giggles and dances but who has brought the country to its knees.
This election is deadly serious.
And that means deadly serious contemplation is required.
I am voting DA on Wednesday. There have been times during the run-up to the election when I was more inclined to support other parties, and when I could not decide where to place my mark. Give I have now made my decision, and I am excited to lend my voice.
This is how I got here.
I remain inspired by President Cyril Ramaphosa I believe that he has South Africa’s best interest at heart. I believe that he has played the “Long game” to the great benefit of the country and that slowly he is winning the war on state capture. I believe that him at the helm of the ANC, the country will be righted.
But I also remain concerned about the ANC as a party.
Their list is littered with the worst of the alleged offenders of Zuma’s past and I am concerned about the control that Ramaphosa has over the party. The election is not about choosing a president. It’s about a party and if we have learned anything, it is that ANC needs a strong opposition to keep them honest.
Every ruling party anywhere in the world does.
I am further concerned about the ANC’s foreign policy, which is quite frankly embarrassing, and there seems to be no sign of them having learned that time and time again when they have stood alongside dictators and rogues, they chose to list themselves on wrong side of history. Venezuela, Cuba and Iran. Mugabe, El Basheer and Hamas all legitimised by the ANC.
In brief, whereas I believe that the ANC is trying to self-correct, we cannot ignore the fact that many of the country’s current issues, are of their doing.
They deserve a bloody nose (figuratively).
I see great value and am a massive fan of the ACDP who I believe are an important moral voice, and I welcome the inclusion of the new ZACP who are refreshing and brave and who will make us think. I see no value in the EFF who drown out some important issues they have raised with their race-based identity focussed politics. Until their leadership accepts that South Africans of all races and religions aspire to the same thing, they don’t deserve serious contemplation. That said, I love their “Julius, Man of the Soil” campaign. It might even be the most powerful slogan of the whole election.
I have not loved the DA’s marketing campaign. Not until Thursday when they lit up Government buildings with their cheeky campaign. I adored that. I also love the weekend Twitter #BeBrave Campaign which is on point and talks to the voters. I felt that earlier in the race they campaign they tended to miss the mark, which indicated that it didn’t always hear what South African voters wanted. Their “Vote for the DA to keep the lights on” campaign was in my opinion appalling and uninspiring and gave South Africans little hope. Hope that we all desperately need. Hope is the reason I might have voted for Ramaphosa in the 1st place.
Their later campaigns however, makes me think that they “get it.”
With all this, it is not about the slickest and the sexiest marketing strategy.
I made my decision to support the DA when I chatted with party leader Mmusi Maimane and I realised that it isn’t about the witty campaigns and it isn’t about the cool catch phrases. It is about integrity and clarity and vision. It is about the belief that all South Africans deserve a future and that without jobs and a robust economy, that we have no options. It is about being accountable and honest and about sometimes being imperfect. Because who of us is not?
Mmusi Maimane inspired me.
Mostly I believe that the DA is a party that best represents my vision of South Africa, and for that reason and for all of the above, they are the party for whom I will vote.
To me, voting for the DA makes sense.
I urge all fellow South Africans to not miss the opportunity to have a say in the country’s future. I urge South Africans to consider carefully which party shares the vision of a country that they want their children to live in. Democracy works when we each have our say. When we each vote for a party that we believe in. No matter which it is. No vote for any party is a mistake.
Wednesday May the 8th is when South Africans get to have a say in the future.