Why frustrated South Africans vote ANC

Notwithstanding their faults, it is beyond dispute that the ANC will win in the next election. Exactly how much and whether they will rule “until Jesus comes back“ as per the words of Julius Malema (who since left the ANC to start his own party, the EFF) is a bone of contention. This is because the majority of black voters are emotionally attached to the ANC and the crucial role they played in liberation. This gratefulness persists and gets prioritised by voters when it comes down to the ballot. They freed us. Voting any other way is therefore seen as “selling out“to the liberation project, a kind of turning back and betrayal to those who sacrificed their lives so that you may be free. So that despite this very liberation project being subordinated to, amongst other things, corruption within the party, disappointing revelations like Guptagate, Nkandlagate and many other shenanigans, for a lack of a better word, they maintain strong loyalties amongst many South Africans that keep them where they are.

Over and above the fact that South African politics are organised along racial and ethnic lines, I argue the main reason people will continue voting for the ANC, despite screwing them over, is trust. For many South Africans, It is a question of whether or not anyone else can be trusted. We have already established that the ANC has our best interests at heart.After all they fought the struggle against Apartheid and have continued to be committed to the mandate of  bringing development to the poor and previously oppressed (although the extent to which this has happened remains debatable). How is it possible to vote for the DA if you are in a village somewhere in the Eastern Cape when not only do you fear what power in the hands of those who do not have your best interests at heart, but when you still see white privileges far superior that of yours every single day where ever you go? The very white face in the DA posters is the face of the enemy in many parts of the country.

Sadly, the ANC realises that and have exploited it to sustain their dominance despite lacklustre service delivery. The race card is played to the point where the issue of race itself becomes naturalised and desensitised so that complaining of racism may be perceived as just that, playing a card.We know white leaders of opposition parties who have been called “madam “and those black people within her party “tea ladies”. This is done precisely to engender this racial suspicion, that because she is white, she is a madam. And if you follow her you are her tea lady. The salient assumption being that of course, white superiority is essential. Despite your education, if you are in the white party, you are a “tea lady”.

That is what these parties should be cognisant of, going to next year’s elections. That unless people trust their motives in relation to their interests, they will continue to vote for the leading party because at least they know something about them.

The DA need to tackle the racial suspicion; go to the people and have a good chat to them. Agang need to rethink their whole approach as they are perceived by many, including myself, as over the top elites who’s whole outlook does not resonate with South Africans and the EFF need to convince us South Africans that they really want to bring economic freedom despite their leader having a questionable track record shrouded by a history of ostentatious, arrogant displays of wealth and a lavish designer lifestyle driven by high culture.Or else they might as well nap already.

Jaco Nel 2013/09/03 12:59:17 PM
Correct. No other party (especially if perceived as white) will win an election in the near future no matter what they do. Africans are passionate people but this also makes them emotional voters, also, common sense and lucidity not a virtue of the masses. We’re not ready for democracy. But ye, stating the obvious here.
ruffieb 2013/09/03 01:12:49 PM
If the people of the Eastern Cape so believe in the ANC and their bountifulness, why oh why are they leaving the Eastern Cape in droves to settle in the high-burg of DAness, C.Town? Why oh why are they seeking a better life in the W.Cape if the ANC powerhouse,i.e. si not providing what they are looking for. Looney thinking does not improve your situation in life.
Guy M Artist 2013/09/03 01:14:16 PM
Some people are incurably stupid, This is sadly incurable. Voting should not be an emotional issue, Voting should only be carried out after you have looked at and understood all the variables.
John Stoltz 2013/09/03 01:33:47 PM
Sorry to admit it, but I won't even vote for my own Father if he does not deliver on his (election) promises ! My sympathy/empathy lies with the meek and helpless,...not the corrupt, lying, racist, croniesm bunch of popular leaders who are undoing everything the real ANC stood for under Madiba !!!
The Fox 5366 2013/09/03 01:36:32 PM
I'm sorry Sipho, but what sort of logic is this? "I argue the main reason people will continue voting for the ANC, despite screwing them over, is trust." The very definition of somebody screwing you over is that you cannot trust them, but you're advocating that despite the ANC not being trustworthy, people are only able to trust them?
Joe Black302 2013/09/03 01:40:04 PM
All this is true to an extent, but the fact remains that the true elitists today are ANC fat cats. Sure there are a few white business men who are still on top of the richest leader boards. And sure many white people make relatively good salaries, but the rand has lost value to the point where essentially we are working for peanuts too in relation to professionals in other countries. For example I make a lot according to some, but I know I make about 20% of what somebody at my level can make in more developed countries. I can't even afford to buy one of the touted luxury homes that poor people are so envious of. I am just as envious in many ways. Heck I can't even afford an apartment close enough to my work so that I don't have to spend too much of my salary on transport. No matter... I'm fighting my own personal financial fight to ensure that one day I can afford the things I want. And I know where I come from... A poor family. I bought my first brand T-Shirt after school. And it was a significant percentage of my starting salary let me tell you. And it has cost me sweat and an immense amount of work to get where I am today. Too many sandwich meals to count. Most of my adult life I had to go into credit if I wanted to buy McDonalds. Yeah so the poor masses may thing white people have always had it easy, but it is not universal. I even consider myself one of the lucky ones. Hard work and determination has elevated me financially a little bit above my peers.
Alexander Dowding 2013/09/04 01:11:20 AM
Until people stop voting for corruption and lack of service delivery this country will not improve. Voters need to understand that first and foremost. Vote for policy and performance NOT personality.