News | South Africa | Politics
Top political expert is praising the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) pro-poor policy, saying it could benefit the poor morethan the ANC’s policy, but the DA does not understand the political nuances that could make it attractive to the poor.
Political analyst Dr Ralph Mathekga said as much as the ANC was historically associated with the poor as one ofits motive forces for change, the governing party merely “sweet-talked and did not deliver to the poor”.
“The ANC has the script but the DA has the plan,” Mathekga said. “The ANC is able to sweet-talk the poor because it is sensitive to their situation. On the other hand, DA has a plan but it does not communicate it within our political nuances.
“The DA policies are good for the poor but they don’t invest in politeness in communicating them and politics isalso the art of being polite,” Mathekga said.
The DA failed to convince the poor on its pro-poor policies because it often resorted to a racist refrain.
“In practice, the DA policy is likely to benefit the poor than that of the ANC, only they don’t understand our political nuances.”
Mathekga was reacting to DA leader John Steenhuisen’s weekly newsletter, Straight Talk, published on Wednesdayin which he claimed the party was “South Africa’s most propoor party”.
Steenhuisen said the DA had done best at providing the poor with jobs, piped water, sanita tion, electricity, education, school-feeding programmes, early childhood development support, healthcare, safety and financially sustainable government.
He said this claim was based on objective measures from third-party sources with no incentive to favour the DA such as Statistics SA, the department of basic education, the Human Sciences Research Council, Ratings Afrika, the auditor-general and the co operative governance and traditional affairs department’s report on the state of local government and court rulings.
He said the DA strongly sup ported social grants for the poor. “But we believe there is nothing more pro-poor thanlifting people out of grants and into income. Where the DA governs, job numbers are highest and unemployment is lowest.”
He said the DA-governed Western Cape had the lowest broad unemployment at 29.1%. Citing the Stats SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey released in August, he said this was 17.3 percentage points lower than the average in the other provinces.
“Midvaal, where the DA has enjoyed a full majority for an uninterrupted period of 19 years, has the lowest unemployment of any municipality in Gauteng.
Midvaal is also a shining light of service de livery. Service delivery and job creation go hand in hand.Businesses, especially smaller operators, like poorer households, rely heavily on government services,” he said.
As reported by Stats SA, 43.5% of Western Cape house holds receive free basic water – roughly double the national average of 21.8%. Households received free basic sewerage and sanitation services at a rate that was more than double the national average of 18.7% and, similarly, for electricity at 27%, which was far above the national average of 16.7%.
The Western Cape was lead ing in key education indicators such as matric pass rates (80% for the 2020 examinations),bachelor passes (44%), mathematics passes (71%), and mathematical literacy passes (83%).
“Good governance is more critical, the poorer people are. Corruption, cadre deployment and inefficiency hit the poorhardest, as they are most reliant on public services and delivery.”
LOCAL ELECTIONS 2021