BEYOND THE IPSOS SURVEY RESULTS
Ipsos, the market research company whose worldwide headquarters are in France, recently released survey results that suggest that the ruling party will comfortably get 60% of the total voter support at national level, and over 50% in all provinces except in the Western Cape and Northern Cape in the coming 2019 national elections. This is despite the endless service delivery protests and the ruling party’s factional battles, rampant corruption, poor governance, disruptive turmoil, poor service delivery at all levels of government.
According to Ipsos’ press release, the study was conducted from 20 April to 7 June 2018. Out of 25.4 million eligible voters based on the 2014 National and Provincial Elections (NPE) statistics, a sample of 3 738 South Africans were randomly selected and interviewed by Ipsos fieldworkers. It is interesting to note that the survey represents 0.015% of the total eligible 25.4 million voters who were registered before the 2014 NPE elections, and 0,014% of the 26.3 million eligible voters registered for the 2016 Local Governing Elections (LGE).
The other political parties represented in Parliament such as DA, EFF and IFP share 21% of the electoral support, which makes the remaining 19% available for political parties such as AZAPO to contest in addition to the 60% electoral support predicted for the ruling party as per the Ipsos survey. Our objective as AZAPO is not to focus on the 21% electoral support that is said to be shared by the other official political parties currently represented in Parliament, but the 79% ( ANC 60% + 19% remainder).
It would be interesting if these surveys were to be area-specific and focus on the municipalities where the service delivery rebellions are a daily occurrence. We are curious to know how the residents in Hammanskraal, Kimberley, Mahikeng, Khayelitsha, Soweto and other areas would respond to a specific survey that focuses on service delivery issues, poor governance, rampant corruption, cadre deployment, and so forth.
As AZAPO, we have many of our members who are post-graduates, political and social scientists; and who are quite familiar with how the surveys are conducted throughout the world. If we had enough resources like other political parties represented in Parliament, it would have been possible for us to conduct our own surveys from the South African citizens and focus on contentious issues such as land, poverty, renaming of the country, national anthem and abolition of Provincial Governments in addition to governance and service delivery issues. We believe these issues should form the daily pulse of our people as compared to the 5-year electoral cycle excitement that has continued to betray our people for the past 24 years under the ANC-led government.
AZAPO knows that these opinion polls or surveys do have an influence on the electorate in one way or the other. There are cases in political history where dubious market research institutions have sought to sway the electorate in a preferred direction.
However, AZAPO will use all available information and statistics to organise, mobilise and consolidate people’s power on the ground towards victory. Our programme is in full swing to ensure that we have AZAPO public representatives in all 4,392 wards. We are out to build AZAPO, the flagbearer of the BCM and custodian of Biko, and make it the political organisation of choice.
BRICS MAY BE A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY, BUT …
Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa this week attended a BRICS summit in Johannesburg. As usual, the Summit gets positive reviews in the media and from many commentators.
The general thrust is that the membership of BRICS is a catalyst for economic development and economic cooperation among member states. Given that China has more than 1.4 billion people, India has a population of more than 1.3 billion, Brazil has just over 210 million and Russia has about 145 million people; these countries have a combined potential market of more than 3.1 billion people which is more than 40% of the world population.
According to official BRICS documents, the purpose of the BRICS Strategy includes:
- To enhance market access opportunities and facilitate market interlinkages.
- To promote mutual trade and investment and create a business-friendly environment for investors and entrepreneurs in all BRICS countries.
- To enhance and diversify trade and investment cooperation that support value addition among the BRICS countries.
These are noble intentions. On the face of it, South Africa can use its BRICS membership to access a huge market of more than 3.1 billion people. Having access to the market is one thing, but having something to market and sell is a completely different matter.
Away from the glamour and lure of Summits attended by Heads of State, real local entrepreneurs have to work with the assistance of the state to identify business opportunities. In other words, the South African business leaders have to ask themselves: what are the products that can be manufactured in South Africa that are in demand in the BRICS countries? If they can answer that question and work relentlessly to supply goods to the BRICS countries, then South Africa’s association with BRICS would be of benefit to the country because jobs would be created in the manufacturing and other sectors.
If the South African businesses fail to be innovative and to produce products that are globally competitive, then the membership of BRICS might result in the increase of the trade deficit with these countries to the detriment of South Africa. BRICS may just be another fertile ground for modern day neo-colonialism.
One thing that must be clear to all of us is that global trade is brutal. It is not driven by moral arguments. Every country will always act to advance its national interests. It would be naïve of us to be too comfortable with our BRICS friends and assume that they will treat South Africa with kid gloves in the trade wars. BRICS countries may love South Africa, but they love their respective countries even more.
THE EVIL ROOTS OF TAXI VIOLENCE
Those who blame the government for the violence that has engulfed the taxi industry rightly assert that the State had failed to develop a comprehensive public transport system that properly regulates the taxi industry. They also add that despite the fact that the taxi industry transports the majority of people in the working class areas, there is no State subsidy to the taxi industry.
These two factors – lack of subsidy and the poor regulatory framework – contribute to the low profit margins in the industry. And when there is no profit, the fight over crumbs becomes severe and brutal.
There are more than 200 000 taxis in South Africa. The industry is estimated to have a turnover of more than R16,5 billion. This is big business, yet it is treated largely as informal. If we had a government with a vision, they would unlock the full potential of this industry. And how can they do that? Currently, the manufacturers of the thousands of minibuses running on our roads are foreign companies. The South African Defence industry has capacity to manufacture sophisticated tanks, helicopters, army trucks and even vehicles. All that is required is political will and a vision based on putting the interests of South Africans first. And we can produce safe minibuses that can be sold to taxi operators. Instead of making slogans about “radical economic transformation”, we can actually transform our economy to benefit our people. But where there is no vision, people perish!
However, there is a much deeper problem of violence in the Black Community. AZAPO believes that there is also a psychological problem that turns some of us into brutes that can unleash the kind of brutal violence as reported this past weekend in KwaZulu-Natal where more than 250 rounds of ammunition were sprayed on a minibus, killing 11 taxi drivers and leaving six others wounded.
The system of colonialism and apartheid has dehumanised Black people to an extent that they have low self-esteem and have internalised violence. It has become common for some among us to kill a fellow Black person for a small thing such as a cell phone. If we are to regain our humanity, we need a dose of Black Consciousness, a philosophy designed to free Black People from their mental oppression, from self-hate and from inferiority complex.
POVERTY OF LEADERSHIP
No matter how intelligent a group of people may be, but they still need to be led. Without leadership they will fumble and stumble despite the fact that they are all intelligent. They need to be given direction and guidance.
A leader without a vision and a mission is no leader at all. South African political leaders seem to be people who want to sit out their term and loot as much State resources as they possibly can during their term of office. That is no leadership at all.
Apart from other things, the Germans are known for their Mercedes, BMWs, Audis and VWs; the Koreans are known for their cell phones, appliances and cars. For every other country, we could still list the things that distinguish them from others in the world. What is South Africa known for? Nothing other than being a consumer of the finished products of other countries. Even the gold and platinum that are our South Africa’s strength are dug out of the ground and sold ridiculously cheap or at a loss on the global commodity market. There is no leadership intervention.
But check out who has been given the rights to dig our minerals. It is foreign multinational companies. South Africa provides no leadership to add value to its minerals by beneficiating them before selling them. While the oil-producing countries use their mineral resources to assert themselves on the global economy stage and develop their countries, South Africa lacks the leadership to use its gold and platinum to assert itself and develop the country.
In the agricultural front, there is no leadership presence to equip and subsidise black farmers so that they could grow and reach the level of the commercial white farmers. Politicians are happy with dishing out small patches of barren land to poor Black people with the hope that they will get votes to retain their power. There is no leadership and no vision to develop the people and the country. The focus is limited on hollow electioneering.
A developmental state should treat education as a priority. Yet the ANC-led government is fumbling in that important area. All they do is to go to some European countries at great cost to copy some education models and transplant them into our system. They will return and issue instructions that everything that was previously done must be abruptly stopped because they have brought a solution to the country’s problems.
You will remember how the government hastily introduced the Outcomes Based Education (OBE) in the 1990s without paying attention to the conditions and infrastructure challenges of South Africa. The system struggled even in the more advanced countries like Australia where we copied it from. Instead of teaching the learners, time and resources were spent teaching the teachers how to teach the learners. Meanwhile, the Matric and other Grades results were worsening. This political experiment was done at the expense of the future of our children and the development of our country. There is no leadership vision at all. After the OBE another political experiment called Additive Multilingualism was introduced. There have been more experiments with FET Colleges and higher education. All these political experiments have exposed the poverty of leadership.
AZAPO is clear that African problems will require African solutions. Black Consciousness is the philosophy within which we extract and ground our policy objectives.
To print and read, please click here ⇒ AZAPO Voice Volume 1 Issue 22
For all comments and inputs, please click here, we thank you in advance.