Is it not time that South Africa’s voters pushed back against tyranny and government theft?
Since 27 March, the ruling party has made our lives miserable. In their eyes they have been protecting us from coronavirus infections. But as with everything else they’ve tried to do in the past 15 years, they have failed. On 26 March, the President announced the lockdown which would begin the next day. In his announcement, he told us there would be a R500 billion fund to alleviate the negative impact of the lockdown. Some of us knew even then that this would be an opportunity for comrades to once again dip their fingers into the piggy bank.
Private companies donated billions into what was termed the Solidarity Fund. Of course, true to form, the government used this opportunity to apply their racist policies to the fund. Mamoloko Kubayi, the Minister of Tourism, didn’t mince her words when she said that this fund would relieve only black-owned businesses. A court of law has unfortunately put its seal of approval on this blatant racism. My hope is that the Constitutional Court will rule differently and declare this policy unconstitutional and inhumane.
Why should white business owners, who pay their taxes and have registered businesses, not be helped in times of need? Are we not better people as black people, to allow this to happen and not speak out against it? How is this regime any different from what the apartheid government used to do – treat people differently based in their skin colour? In my eyes, it is shameful and should not be tolerated by any decent human being.
It was not long after the lockdown started that we heard news of theft of food parcels by councillors who were given control of this job. Nothing shocks me anymore. Since coming to power, African National Congress (ANC) members have been intent on using that power to expropriate everything from the taxpayers and law-abiding citizens of this country. Every financial year, the Auditor-General tells of billions of rands that go unaccounted for from the fiscus. We all know how the ANC has created the elite in its ranks over the years. These tenderpreneurs get state tenders costing billions of rands. Most are not even qualified for the jobs they claim they can do. Many don’t finish the projects even after they have been fully paid. National Treasury keeps signing the cheques, apparently with no questions asked.
The Zondo Commission has so far cost taxpayers R700 million. No one that I know can tell me who benefits from this commission. The National Prosecuting Authority could surely by now have investigated and prosecuted at least some of those named in corruption charges, but Shamika Batohi doesn’t seem to be up to the task. This is the state of affairs in South Africa.
My heart bleeds for those who have lost their jobs and businesses because of this long lockdown. Word on the street is that a long lockdown ensures that the usual thieves get more time to steal the funds. As I write to you, the Special Investigative Unit has been tasked with investigating alleged corruption that has happened since the R500 billion funding was launched.
What can citizens do, going forward? I can only think of one thing: They can change this with the stroke of pen as they cast their votes.
There are more than 20 million South Africans who are eligible to vote, but they aren’t doing so. How about each and every one of those who care, go out there and teach people about voting and its importance? This education will be more beneficial than just giving people food parcels. It’s time that South Africans start looking at the results of their voting patterns since 1994. Yes, back then it made sense to vote for the ANC. Not anymore.
Let all do their jobs and start holding politicians to account. Parliament won’t do it for us. The courts will certainly not do it for us. Change will only come when all South Africans start thinking more about their political choices. South Africa’s future depends on it.