ANC must earn the loyalty of voters
ADDRESSING an international conference on public administration at Pretoria University, Professor Kishare Raga said the loyalty people had for the political party (in this case, the ANC, SACP and Cosatu alliance) that had brought them freedom should not be underestimated, and that while “there are cracks… loyalty means everything. There is a debt of gratitude that must be paid at the polls.”
“Despite cracks, loyalty will hold tripartite alliance together” (Weekend Argus, December 7).
Perhaps loyalty means different things to different people, but my view is that loyalty can be a valuable asset, or it can be a serious liability, depending which side of the fence you are on.
In the case of the ANC tripartite alliance, I feel that anyone punting Professor Raga’s sentiments is on slippery ground, as no one should feel compelled to vote for the ANC in next year’s polls to repay a “debt of gratitude” showing loyalty to the party.
It is absurd to expect loyalty to a party that once held the high ideals and principles of our dearly departed Nelson Mandela, but which is now a sad caricature of those ideals and principles, having metamorphosed into an organisation that has earned much excoriation for its poor governance and leadership.
Must the citizen in the townships and the gang-infested areas of the Cape Flats show loyalty and allegiance to a party whose leaders turned a deaf ear to their cries for help with the unbearable violence they have been experiencing, of drug abuse, rape, gangsterism and woman and child abuse?
Must the millions of children show loyalty to a government that deprives them not only of adequate learning tools such as books, maps, desks, chairs, computers and libraries, but of good, well-trained teachers who will lead them to a first-class certificate at the end of their school career?
While our resources have been plundered, those in the tripartite alliance who have sought self-enrichment as their right, and have unconscionably pushed aside those they are meant to serve, are now beginning to reap what they have sown: many have withdrawn their loyalty, and are seeking a new political home, where the needs of the people take precedence.
Loyalty, like respect, must be earned, but the highest value that can be placed on any man is integrity. Without integrity a man is nothing, and can not demand loyalty from even subservient citizens who have been used as pawns.
To ask these people to vote for the ANC tripartite alliance at next year’s polls “as a debt of gratitude” is an insult to what they have received. If billions of rand had not been squandered on misgovernment, or misappropriation by ministers or associates, these unfortunate citizens would all have had decent houses, sanitation, well-equipped schools and hospitals and much else.