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Cast your vote wisely

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Many see the list as a job guarantee because whoever makes it to the top of the list is pretty certain to get a seat in government

Picture: GCIS

South Africa is gearing up for the next general elections which will most likely be held in May according to the Electoral Commission and President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce the exact date soon.

Political parties have already started fluffing their feathers in preparation. The DA, which has set its eyes on the Northern Cape for a possible win, hasn’t stopped to take a breadth in pointing out all the flaws of the ANC government. From its side, ANC officials have been hard at work cleaning old people’s yards, removing rubbish from neighbourhoods, donating clothing to children and fixing potholes. Even Premier Sylvia Lucas, has donned her overalls and helped paint the walls of a house.

For the media, it’s a very trying time as everyone jostles for a bit of recognition that might just win them a vote or two.

It’s also the time when the parties get their lists of candidates ready for the Independent Electoral Committee, and while this should be a simple process, it is often controversial with the potential to become bloody.

Many see the list as a job guarantee because whoever makes it to the top of the list is pretty certain to get a seat in government.

Despite the ANC bringing out a six-page guideline for the candidate selection process for its branches to follow, the battle in the Northern Cape has already ended up in court.

It was reported last week that five ANC applicants have taken 41 ANC regional, provincial and national members, including ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, to court.

The aim of the application is to overturn the outcomes of the regional and provincial conferences held last year, which they argue has resulted in illegitimate and unlawful Branch Executive Committees and Regional Executive Committees, which in turn unlawfully elected the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC).

The PEC, the application states, exercises political management over the provincial government business.

They argue that if the nominations process is allowed to be administered under the leadership of the current PEC, the same underhanded tactics will be applied.

The backlash for those who had the audacity to approach the courts has been severe, they have been intimidated and lost their government jobs.

It is obvious that factionalism and political divisions could once again affect the ANC’s performance in this election.

Those loyal to former president Jacob Zuma are clinging onto power, while for Ramaphosa to survive the ANC’s next elective conference, it is crucial that he gets the support from the provinces.

Internal party-political battles are costing us as taxpayers’ millions and is seeing the election of people who shouldn’t be public representatives.

It is time for us to shake off the lethargy and demand more from our elected officials, to insist that they conduct themselves in a manner that furthers the interest of the country and ensures the survival of our fragile democracy.

Cherish your vote and cast it wisely.