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2024: the mission to Save South Africa
The nation's most important post-Apartheid election approaches
It took India 30 years after independence to vote Congress out of office, and that only after Indira Gandhi made an authoritarian turn with her Emergency. South Africa, on the other hand, is approaching 30 years of the existing multiracial democratic system so far dominated by the ANC, whose support has steadily eroded as the country’s condition worsens.
2024 is shaping up to be the most important election in post-Apartheid South Africa. The opposition parties and the electorate know this. Its impact will be felt far outside South Africa for a myriad of reasons, not least because the outside world is just coming to grips with how much of a colossal failure ANC is. I’ve already explained South Africa’s myriad of problems leading to likely failed state status, so no need to go over them here again. But it adds to the sense of urgency about this election, that South Africa is now facing an existential struggle with consequences far beyond its borders.
It is with this message that any prospective coalition of opposition parties must run with in 2024. That this is an election to save South Africa. The continued rule of the ANC, with support from the EFF, will plunge South Africa further into an interminable decline. Such will lead to a flight of both people and capital from the country, making it harder to reverse. This is why there will be so much invested in this campaign by both parties and voters.
The coalition must emphasise a commitment to good governance, restoration of international relations and image of the country, and to be representative of the country’s diverse population and its values. This isn’t just about representing the white, Coloured and Indian minorities, but also about representing the large sectors of black majority whose interests are presently not favoured by ANC rule, or looking for an alternative political home.
It is one thing to say South Africa is a broken country, which it is, but another to say you can fix it. The opposition must hammer this out in a program which presents as a government of national salvation and reconstruction, while also appealing to popular (populist?) sentiment regarding law and order, traditional values and border security which are pressing issues for South Africans across race and class lines.
There can be no missteps along the way to 2024. South Africa faces an existential crisis with geopolitical and cultural significance attached. This is a “one shot for victory” and it must be correct.
Over to you, opposition parties.