June 1, 2023

The Political Chronicle

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A test for the ANC, disappointing in some places


In the last days of the campaign in South Africa, South Africans were called to vote on Monday, November 1, to elect their representatives in local elections. The record of local executives is desirable in the country: according to the latest annual report of the Auditor General, only 27 of the 257 municipalities received a positive audit in 2019-2020. Consequences of this mismanagement: Basic local services are not provided in the most backward areas. Enough to ignite the anger of people who stay away from politics.

From our Special Correspondent in Sharpeville, an hour ‘s drive south of Johannesburg, Claire Barclays

Abram Modisakeng was then 14 years oldRacism, Black protesters were massacred in the streets of his hometown of Sharpville. He thought living conditions would change once the ANC (African National Congress, Nelson Mandela’s former party) came to power. But he is now disappointed:

We have been voting for the same party for almost 30 years and see no change here that we can be proud of. There are a lot of problems with water and electricity, and it’s catastrophic. So I didn’t really see that I can vote for any party.

The municipality, which has been led by the ANC since 1994, is under administrative control and has to repay more than 2.5 million euros in debt.

In the vicinity, 29-year-old Samuel Kodiza is in no illusion: ” If there is no improvement in the community, it is because the funds are mismanaged. Look at how polluted the surroundings are. There are also potholes all over the road. So I’m not on the list, I’m not interested.

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Only a few young people, such as Palesa Maloisane, still believe in politics. At age 24, he decided to join a local micro party: “ Let me introduce myself that we are tired and want to see change. It is sad that promises are not fulfilled because we give them hope and then they forget about us.

Despite the disappointments, the ANC should regain the top spot in the poll. But we need to look at what its score is compared to 2016, when the party won 176 municipalities.