The election of paradoxes


It’s 2024, exactly 30 years after 1994. Just like 30 years ago, this year is the birth of something new. It’s the end of an era. The new South Africa is over.

The euphoria of Mandela has reached its end date and the struggle-momentum of the ANC has come to a standstill.

The people of South Africa do not want any more struggle no, they want to live. The voice of South Africa no longer wants the ANC to rule alone. They no longer trust the country only in the hands of the ANC.

However, the post-election era is uncharted waters. Nothing that was is known anymore.

It can also be seen as an election full of complex paradoxes to the left, to the right, to the top and to the bottom.

To the left

65% of South Africa voted for parties with radical left-wing economic policies.

Ironically, these are the same policies that have led to growing unemployment over the past 30 years. These parties believe that power and resources should be centralized and then redistributed. Equality is more important than wealth or good service delivery.

The requirement to move to the left is to move up.

OVK Vote Election Jacob Zuma

To the top

Underlying the drive for equality is the need for government intervention to achieve it. This leads to efforts of central planning which even includes planning of people according to race.

Power and resources that are centralized also create an opportunity to loot before the resources are decentralized. It is also no coincidence that the left parties are also the corrupt parties. There is a paradox in centralist thinking itself.

The weaker the state, the stronger the government must be. If public health care fails, the government must take control of all health care. If the issuing of licenses and other restrictive regulations slows down the mining sector, mines should be nationalized. If 85% of schools are dysfunctional, the government needs to get more power over schools. To the left and up join each other.

To the right

Paradoxically, politics has also moved to the right. There is a clear move towards ethnic identity. The two newcomers who shook the cage, PA and MK, both mobilized along ethnic lines. Despite a lower voting percentage, the IVP and UDM attracted more votes than in the previous election. Even the DA, which benefited from high opposition percentages, had fewer votes than in 2019.

The big winners were the Zulus overall with two parties doing well. There is also a shift to the right in terms of social values. The ethnic parties in particular found an appeal. What will also play a role is racial identity. Furthermore, the DA’s economic market policy is also on the right.

To the bottom

Another paradox is that the movement to the right also pushes for a movement down. Apart from the Western Cape, there will now also be pressure for further devolution of power in KwaZulu-Natal. This can lead to greater self-confidence of other cultural communities. All this can contribute to the disintegration of the central state.

Another paradox is that the move to the top leads to state infrastructure imploding and encroaching on the community and private sector. The force upwards leads to intervention downwards. Power supply is a classic example. The implosion of Eskom forced the state to open the market to private generators, including rooftop solar panels. This in turn helped to stabilize the state’s infrastructure.

Search for the middle

Within these complex paradoxes, a place in the middle must be found for a type of cooperative government. For radical elements, the middle is a difficult place. Again paradoxically, the radicality can strengthen the remedy.

So we have top, bottom, left and right and the search for a middle that can temper everything. It’s so hard, because it’s so hard. The parliament is about to start, the president is about to be inaugurated and timelines, unfortunately, this is just the beginning of something else. Big forces are still going to come into play.

It is unlike ever before. What is happening is that not only the ANC has been weakened, but also the central state. Civil society and the private sector will play a greater role in shaping the new reality.

This fluidity also creates historical opportunities for Afrikaners. Examples of such opportunities are:

Connection can be found with new cultural self-confidence, without finding connection with the populist rhetoric of the MK. A new era of mutual recognition and respect between communities can be sought.

Decentralization can gain momentum. The new political dispensation in KwaZulu-Natal can give momentum to the idea of ​​decentralization which can also benefit the Western Cape and also lead to more powers for cultural communities, with Afrikaners as accidental beneficiaries. Orania as a city and region can also join this.

The search for a new medium creates an ideal opportunity to negotiate cultural spaces in which the #OnsSalSelf idea can flourish. This includes especially training institutions. It also creates the ideal opportunity for the political recognition of the Orania idea.

The disintegration of the state and the drive to prove success can create opportunities for agreements to improve service delivery.

A new political dispensation creates the opportunity to further unsettle the country and confirm and expand the settlement between Solidarity and the government.

Professor Pierre du Toit, who was involved in the World Value Survey said black, brown and white citizens could join together on the basis of conservative social values. It can be a bridge between communities.

The state of the country and the economy may force the new dispensation to adopt more market-oriented economic policies. It can also lead to greater private and community involvement. This can improve trust.

The political process for the composition of a new government can lead to give and take. Harmful legislation such as Bela and the National Health Insurance (NHI) may be sacrificed.

These opportunities must be actively sought without a naive hope that the solution lies only in them. Some of it will materialize and some will not.

What happens if a bad scenario plays out? Then we build on.

The Solidarity Movement built a giant #OnsSalSelf movement despite a useless ANC government. Our strategy is to build realities. A better government and more space will help, but we are not dependent on any government. There are new opportunities, but we are not relying on anyone else to exploit these opportunities.