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By Kyle Zeeman

Deputy Digital Editor

A South African Thanksgiving: Politicians prepare to dig in

This Thanksgiving, politicians are sharpening their knives for a shot at the golden ticket of getting into parliament.

Next Thursday is the US holiday of Thanksgiving. A day Americans remember the blessings of the past year by feasting together until they go into a food coma.

I attended one once in the far from-Boston suburb of Bordeaux in Johannesburg. We sat around eating, listening to music and trying to figure out how anyone thought putting fruit in a pie was a good idea.

Most people don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in South Africa, but politicians are preparing for a feast of their own as the general elections inches closer – starting with voter registration this weekend.

WATCH: Oprah has a South African Thanksgiving with Nomzamo Mbatha

As Thanksgiving hosts sharpen the knives to cut turkey, politicians are sharpening theirs for a shot at the golden ticket of getting into parliament. A spot in local government, and the access to funds it often brings, will also do.

Recent projections found over 200 political parties are set to contest next year’s elections. That is a massive increase over the 48 parties who contested nationally and 31 in provinces in the last elections.

Preparing to dig in

Among those will likely be former Joburg speaker Colleen Makhubele’s new political coalition, the South African Rainbow Alliance. With it – and many more political parties to hail down on us like a Joburg thunderstorm – the political offering is fattening.

Meanwhile, the country appears to be cannibalising itself, with vandalism and infrastructure theft the latest crisis. Daily, there are reports of traffic lights, lamp posts and other infrastructure being ransacked for copper.

ALSO READ: Colleen Makhubele aims for at least 1% threshold

These are added to tales of sabotage to electricity and water services. When we are not sitting in the dark, we are fearing for our health.

A lot on the plate

Food poisoning from products sold at tuck shops have left dozens hospitalised and disturbing warnings that meet from stolen cattle that may or may not be fit for human consumption is being sold on street corners and at taxi ranks have added to food safety anxieties.

Decisions made by desperate and often selfish South Africans, coupled with a lack of maintenance and management by those in power, have left the country slowly eroding.

All this while political parties put up posters and busy themselves trying to convince us to give them our votes. There is a feast awaiting, but not much to be grateful for.

ALSO READ: Some names in the hat for Joburg speaker

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