Cape Town - It’s election year 2014 and as South Africans recover from their New Year’s celebrations, political parties are polishing their battle armour, caucusing and tweaking their election strategy to attract voters to their respective political homes.
And over the next few months party leaders will hit the streets to canvass for votes.
DA leader, Helen Zille, and ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman may be on opposite sides of the political divide but where New Year’s resolutions are concerned they do have one thing in common, not believing in making any resolutions.
“I have given up on resolutions. Last year I took a resolution that there would be no more twars (twitter wars), and look what happened,” said Zille, who predicts the DA will continue to be the only party which keeps growing in successive elections, both nationally and in the Western Cape.
Fransman said he avoids making New Year’s resolutions, but he admits he is plagued by his eight-year-old son’s complaints: “Papa is always in meetings, meetings and more meetings…”
“I guess I will whisper a resolution to work a bit more with neglected children of politicians, amongst others, my own.”
On the political front, Fransman said there have been many times in 2013, when he has annoyed the “folk in blue, disturbed them, irritated them and bugged the hell out of them”.
“I just want to tell them I plan to continue in 2014.”
And there is no doubt in his mind that nationally, the ANC would retain its majority after the upcoming general elections.
As for the Western Cape, Fransman said though “the road to elections 2014 is going to be tough, Madiba reminded us ‘it seems impossible, until it is done.’ We will do it because the people of the Western Cape deserve better.”
Meanwhile, new kids on the block, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have confidently proclaimed this would be their year.
And just to show the party means business EFF leader, Julius Malema tweeted: “2014 is a year of a FIGHTER, all ground forces must be ready to attack. Ours is People first, fighters to the front. Salute.”
EFF’s national spokesman, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said they were the government-in-waiting.
“We are the reason to call this a new era, a new year. That also means we are the new thing that will happen in the elections and therefore in the political economy of South Africa.”
“EFF will be the choice of the millions of our people in the general elections, on this we are confident,” Ndlozi added.
Flamboyant Cape Town politician Badih Chaaban, the current leader of the National People’s Party (NPP) said this would be a watershed election for South Africa.
“The ANC will retain the national government albeit with an ever-diminishing majority hopefully dipping below the 60 percent margin for the first time, which hopefully will wake up the ruling party that they are not delivering to its constituents, nor to the citizens at large.”
As for Western Cape politics, Chaaban said the DA would again win the Western Cape with an increased majority.
“That is not in any way a compliment or kudos to the DA but rather the opposition in the Western Cape is so weak, and a couple of more own goals will be scored by the opposition to ensure another seemingly flattering victory for the DA in the Western Cape.”
Describing the DA and ANC in the province, Chaaban said: “The one party is spin doctor extraordinaire and the other is a complete illiterate, hence the prevailing perception that the one party is divine whilst the other is Satanic.”
Peter Marais, vice-president of the Bruin Bemagtigings Beweging (Brown Empowerment Movement) said his wish for 2014 was that President Jacob Zuma would do the honourable thing and step down as the country’s president.
His wish list included:
* That the ministerial handbook will be made public and reviewed by Parliament to stop the scandalous abuse of public funds by ministers.
* That BBBEE and Affirmative Action policies be applied to individuals and not groups and that absolute race quotas should be scrapped in labour laws.
* That the current parole system be scrapped and criminals be forced to serve their full sentences as handed down by our courts.
* That any political functionaries at all three spheres of government who are found guilty of corruption should be jailed without the option of a fine.
Marais predicts the ANC will receive between 55 percent and 60 percent of the total vote, while in the Western Cape, he sees a resounding win for the DA and huge inroads into the ANC’s support base in Gauteng.