News / Africa

    S. African Black Voters No Longer Interested in Liberation Credentials

    FILE - A police officer tries to control ANC supporters as they attempt to confront members of the opposition Democratic Alliance party marching in central Johannesburg, February  2014.
    FILE - A police officer tries to control ANC supporters as they attempt to confront members of the opposition Democratic Alliance party marching in central Johannesburg, February 2014.
    During South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994, most blacks voted for the African National Congress because it was a black majority party and one that fought for their liberation. Twenty years later, however, there now are many black parties and the ANC's liberation credentials are slowly fading away as an attraction for voters. Black voters to find out what factors they will consider as they vote in elections next month.

    Decades of segregation and discrimination united South African blacks against the apartheid government, and it led to a resounding victory for the African National Congress [ANC] during the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.

    The ANC has always used its liberation credentials since then to win national elections. Continued poverty, however, and the increasing number of opposition parties -- especially those formed by disgruntled ANC members -- has rendered the party’s history increasingly irrelevant.

    Jerry Tlopane, 64, has voted for the ANC since 1994. But now he accuses the party of turning against the poor and says it has made itself into a "gravy train" for a few of the politically elite. Tlopane said the ANC will not get his vote in the upcoming elections.

    "I want the ANC to get a little punishment, so I don’t know how I am going to vote because this is a blank check. If I vote the ANC, I vote for these vultures, you know?" said Tlopane.

    ANC defectors

    Over the years, many disgruntled ANC members have left to form their own political parties. The latest is the Economic Freedom Fighters [EFF] formed by expelled ANC youth leader Julius Malema.

    Kebby Sikhosana, an unemployed graduate, said he will be voting for the EFF because of its policies of expropriation of land without compensation and nationalization of banks.

    "Imagine if people of South Africa had land and they own the banks so they could go and borrow from the bank to start businesses or to buy houses and build houses and will be charged like 5 percent interest rate or 2 percent interest rate, that will be affordable. Even the lady that is cleaning will be able to afford a decent house," said Sikhosana.

    Corruption also has taken center stage in the 2014 elections.

    Twenty-three-year-old Tholakele Malaza said she would rather not vote than support a corrupt party. "Corruption is one of the biggest threats to our democracy and I think, thank goodness, we have got the media landscape that is still allowed to expose this corruption and that we have got the Public Protector that is still allowed to call people on the things that they do."

    Corruption charges

    Even those still determined to vote for the ANC -- like mother of five, Nokubonga Kumenga, who received a free government house 10 years ago -- say the liberation history is no longer an attraction.

    She said they look at the party’s service delivery record. As she put it, the ANC has provided them with houses, electricity, free health services and education for their children.

    But others, like Ndumiso Mlilo, consider the integrity of party leaders before casting their vote. He said in that regard, the ANC will lose a lot of votes due to multiple allegations against party leader and South African President Jacob Zuma.

    "Whether in trains, in bars or other public places, people always talk about Zuma as somebody who loves women, who loves corruption. Zuma is always associated with something which is dubious," said Mlilo.

    Johannesburg-based political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said the ANC will win the coming elections, despite new choices for black voters.

    "The problem, of course, is that the ANC is blessed with the gift of weak opposition, and South Africa is cursed with a weak and uncompetitive political party system," said Matshiqi.

    Many believe that if the ANC wins, however, the margin of victory will be much thinner than at any time in the past.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    Iran Orders Social Media Sites to Store Data Inside Country

    New requirements are expected to affect the instant messaging app Telegram, which has more than 20 million users inside Iran

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Thbz from: Welkom
    April 22, 2014 4:27 PM
    Let the masses decide for themselves.I'll rather keep my vote than giving it to the hypocrites.

    by: ZweNko from: Pmb
    April 22, 2014 3:48 PM
    Not voting for da ANC iz actually voting against yourself period. There will never be any alternative coz all these other toothless hve nothing to offer except blaming da ANC for anything. Tell da girl what u can offer her and stop badmouthing da other guy coz all what u do iz remind her of him.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora