Pass me a Panado, please. No, make that two, because watching the parliamentary debates on the State of the Nation Address has left me with a dizzy headache.
If such jarring and inconclusive exchanges are any indication of what South Africans will have to endure for the next five years, we’re on the road to nowhere.
Frankly, partisan party politics in our new democracy is driving me round the bend – and our country down the tubes. It’s all become so depressingly petty and predictable.
The annual SONA farce kicked off with President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering a lacklustre and uninspiring address that reminded me so much of that annual festive season comedy on TV, Dinner for One in which James asks: “The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?” to which Miss Sophie responds: “The same procedure as every year, James.”
This was, of course, a perfect cue for the DA to step in and do what they do best – oppose it, willy-nilly.
If it comes from the majority party, smack it because that’s what an opposition party is designated to do.
Which brings me to the EFF. Will someone please tell me: when is the EFF going to learn new parliamentary tricks?
Granted, they do add some light relief to the often boring SONA debates, but their frequent walkouts and jack-in-the-box interruptions on fickle points of order have quite frankly lost their novelty.
The Freedom Front Plus is no better, harping constantly about the spectre of white genocide.
It’s time we awoke to the reality that partisan party politics is leading the country nowhere.
The only people who benefit from this annual farce are our so-called public representatives who are paid handsomely by us taxpayers for their performances.
What our country needs is a complete change of mindset.
We often fail to realise that despite all the media hype about racism, sectionalism, factionalism and all the other isms poisoning our minds, it’s not as if South Africans are at each other’s throats.
In fact, research tells us there exists a fairly large “moderate middle” among South Africans. There’s far more common ground among us than we give ourselves credit for.
Look at it this way. Both the governing ANC and the opposition DA can be broadly considered to be parties that occupy the “South African centre” at present – and between them, they won three-quarters of the vote in May.
Can you imagine what a difference it would make if they decided to put the interests of their country first and entered into creative hybrid strategies of co-operating with each other to end poverty, hunger and corruption and reform education and health in South Africa?
Nobody’s asking them to get into bed together or enter into formal coalition agreements.
Just agreeing to work together for the sake of the country, its citizens and future generations.
I wonder which one will show true patriotism by making the first move?
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