The year year 1994 was a historical, significant turning point in the history of a country that had survived centuries of colonialism and apartheid oppression.
While racism exists in many countries across the world, the difference was that in South Africa it was so institutionalised that many laws had been promulgated to entrench its enforcement.
Many amenities were designated for exclusive use by blacks and whites; those reserved for whites of a much superior quality.
So when the struggle for liberation of the oppressed and downtrodden triumphed in 1994 the euphoria that swept across the country was understandable. The emergence of blacks from that dark, bitter past, had a profound influence on the provisions of our Constitution as it sought to reverse centuries of poverty, deprivation, humiliation and oppression.
But, 30 years of our democracy have proved that it is one thing to fantasise about things, but a different thing altogether to bring our dreams to fruition. All the lofty promises enshrined in the Constitution have proved very difficult to implement.
Measures to protect and reward the ANC for its prolonged and gruelling struggle for the liberation of the oppressed have also contributed to the failures of our democratic government. This has led to the call for a thorough examination of the Constitution and amendment of areas that have led to problems plaguing our country.
The first problem is the election of the country’s president, the exclusive right of the ANC branches and not the electorate. What kind of a democracy is that? The ANC government itself has found itself burdened with undesirable presidential candidates which they have no option but to accept.
Then there’s the ANC cadre deployment policy, which ex-ANC member Trevor Manuel described in the Sunday Times this week as being “At the heart of SA’s woes”, which reiterates what many South Africans have been saying.
How on Earth can anyone think that deploying people with no training, academic qualification and experience to important senior public positions is the right thing to do? Failures of many government departments can be exclusively attributed to cadre deployment, which gave us the Life Esidimeni tragedy, the destruction of all SOEs, the failure of law enforcement the list is endless.
Today South Africa has serious problems like load shedding, water and sanitation problems, destruction of infrastructure, a high crime rate. Problems which will take many years and a lot of money to solve. One shudders at the thought of South Africa falling into the hands of a new incapable government after the elections, because no one knows what the future has in store for us after the elections; this might signal the end of SA, with it joining the demise of most African states.
Many political parties are hoping for a chance to govern this country, but I wonder if they realise what a daunting task it will be to turn around this sinking ship.
Amend the Constitution and vote wisely; otherwise, be ready to join the immigrants that are scattered all over the world.
* Cometh Dube-Makholwa, Midrand.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.