Save us from election poster pollution

Through Kevin ritchie Sep 18, 2021

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Johannesburg – There are six weeks left until Election Day.

The streets of Johannesburg, the country’s largest metropolis – and the continent’s financial capital, are still largely unpolluted by election posters.

If we stick to the very public financial problems of the ANC, this condition could last.

But what will the posters say, if they go up?

The same slogans have been circulating since 1994; the better life – through a mixture of mismanagement, unbridled tenderness, and a bit of bad luck – is more of a mirage than it ever was.

ANC administrative chaos and factionalism are a rare gift for opposition parties.

But will they waste it?

The DA, when it wasn’t running Afrikaans posters that looked more like FF Minus, was complying with the hesitant vaccine this week; the same party that complained so bitterly about the imposition of a draconian lockdown to become both irritable and libertarian about the vaccine passports that would free us from them.

It is not the only party to score an own goal.

The EFF’s foray this week was to promote their leader literally as their standard bearer promoting the launch of a manifesto, rather than explaining what is in it.

Herman Mashaba’s Action SA was in turn swift with the simple poster ploy of “everyone vote for us”.

It is probably the most authentic slogan of all, but nothing is authentic in politics.

It should be remembered that Mashaba, who seems to borrow his political inspiration from Donald Trump, was the last DA mayor of Joburg and very happy to sign a deal with EFF to make this happen.

All of this meant that the mismanagement continued and the transplant developed new ducts – until everything imploded.

It is not a national election.

It’s not about running an entire country – it’s much more important than that; it’s about managing the places where we live.

It’s a real parish pump policy: running water, working streetlights, clinics, parks, potholes.

The EFF seemed to understand this, in its typical populist fashion, by proposing this week that the suburbs should foot the bill for water and lighting bills in the townships.

This is a very magnanimous gesture because a large part of its rulers live in the suburbs, while some of its main rulers are installed in the privilege of closed estates.

But it also conveniently misses the fact that many parts of Soweto are very well served with working streetlights, running water, and no potholes for miles, unlike the leafy northern suburbs which are increasingly besides being devastated by the Jojo tanks in the gardens and the thrum of generators as aging infrastructure continually collapses.

But does anyone really care?

We get the government we deserve because we get the politicians we allow.

How many of us will even vote on November 1?

How many of us will even use this weekend to register to vote?

This is the real question.

Politicians engage in identity politics because they are morally bankrupt.

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