Five more years of the same?

Hendri Pelser

Hendri Pelser

Regular readers will recall a recent prediction I made about my annual insurance increase.

As I expected, the insurance letter duly arrived, politely informing me that my premium would increase by 22%. Countless hours on the phone later and we have mostly agreed to a 6.9% annual increase.

For the umpteenth year, the dear insurance company and I have had the same song and dance. Nothing has changed.

In the same way, the final election results released on Saturday eerily conformed to the predictions made by polling firms.

The opposition and smaller parties made some headway but the ANC still got a mandate from 62% of the electorate.

Certain commentators claim the ANC got a bloody nose and that it will have to mend its ways in order to win the next election.

There will certainly be some changes in Parliament. Lindiwe Mazibuko won’t be around and Julius Malema will show us how he deals with bureaucracy.

But how much change will there really be? The ANC knows how to use its majority in the national legislature to get what it wants.

Time and time again the rank-and-file of its appointed officials have shown us that they don’t care about the electorate – but they do care about keeping their own jobs.

How much influence will our new Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa really have? His predecessor, Kgalema Motlanthe, has been

sitting on the sidelines for months, winding down the time.

Can we really believe that President Jacob Zuma’s second term will be any different from his first?

According to a Sapa report, the president said that “political parties spoke about Nkandla so much, they started believing it’s what people wanted to hear and were talking about”.

Speaking at the ANC’s election victory celebration on Saturday, Zuma added: “There is nothing wrong with Nkandla, there is something wrong with them (opposition parties).”

Now, according to Zuma I am one of those “bright and clever people” – the media focusing on Nkandla.

It’s deeply worrying that the president can claim there’s nothing wrong with spending R250 million on himself on the day the election results come out.

Zuma forgets that the ruling party doesn’t only govern the 11 436 921 people who voted for it. The government must look after the 18 402 497 people who voted and indeed, all of the 52 million people who live in South Africa.

While the cadres gleefully loot the country, the rest of the citizenry has had enough of corruption, maladministration and the lack of service delivery.

Zuma forgets that the ANC is at heart a grassroots liberation movement. Anyone voting for the ANC was not necessarily endorsing him as leader.

Rank and file ANC members are becoming fed-up rather quickly.

They – and the rest of the country – are not in the mood for five years of the same.

Like the insurance company, Zuma forgets that there is ample competition in the market and that we can look around for a different service provider.

If my service provider tries to fleece me every year with silly increases, I can move on to the next one… Politicians are a dime a dozen, Mr President.

 Follow Hendri on Twitter: @HendriPelser


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