News / South Africa / Politics

Hein Kaiser
3 minute read
22 Nov 2021
7:10 am

People want parties ‘to get over their egos, power lust’

Hein Kaiser

Online sentiment shows growing discontent among voters who either feel betrayed or frustrated by the prolonged negotiations by parties.

Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Natasha Mazzone: Picture: Gallo Images/Ziyaad Douglas

South Africans have had rather enough of politics and online conversation currently trending shows that everyone just wants the politicians and parties to show up and do what’s best for South Africa and get over egos and power-lust.

Digital analyst and netnographer Carmen Murray said that sentiment and searches show growing discontent among voters who either feel betrayed or frustrated by the prolonged negotiations in hung councils.

“People are questioning why parties only lobby for votes come election time and then, move on and step well outside their mandate,” said Murray, who added that trending topics include the divisiveness of some parties and why politicians are allowed to revel in the chaos that ensued after the election.

“Voters are wondering why politicians cannot put aside their egos for the betterment of society and to the benefit of the electorate.”

actionsa action SA candidates
Photo: ActionSA

Murray also said that the big question mark over cooperation between the Democratic Alliance (DA) and ActionSA is starting to annoy onlookers. And the problem child according to sentiment, is the DA.

“People want to know why it is so important to the DA to illustrate that without it there can be no alliances, coalitions or working agreements,” said Murray.

“The party lost seats in Joburg and Tshwane, yet it chooses to flex its muscles under the banner of principles. And folk online are wondering whether this is just a personal relationship issue, given that ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba led the DA caucus as Joburg mayor in 2016.”

Positive sentiment toward the DA continues to see a steady decline, and negativity is on the up.

This has been a sustained trend for the past seven days. But, said Murray, at the same time the public seem to be turning to Mashaba as a political redeemer.

“It will take time for online conversation to settle into whatever shape coalitions take, and this will also start determining the road to 2024,” said Murray, adding that sentiment on ActionSA may also start tipping downhill if resolution is not found between parties.

All the parties damned

A minority government is when the party with the most seats, but not necessarily more than 50% plus one, in council, attempts to form a local government.

A coalition of smaller parties can achieve the same by majority of seats compared to a larger party.

In both instances, in Joburg, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) gets to be the roadblock. It had said that it would not enter into any coalitions. ActionSA will never get into bed with the ANC and the Democratic Alliance (DA) don’t seem to want to date either of them.

Thousands showed up for the EFF’s Siyabonga rally on the East Rand on Saturday. Picture: Twitter/@EFFSouthAfrica

In Joburg, the DA cannot go it alone as a minority government but, together all the opposition parties would be able to form a minority coalition government with more seats collectively than the ANC.

But, when it comes to passing budgets or voting on any bill, it would still require a majority vote, suggesting that there is a dependency on the EFF or for that matter, the ANC.

Even the ANC would have to get used to the idea that the red berets can scupper any initiative at any time by voting against anything that does not fit their agenda.

So, all the parties are, in essence, damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

The picture changes completely if the EFF create a majority with the ANC.

But while this may be a proposition, 2016’s speed dating between the DA and the EFF showed that any kind of partnership with Julius Malema’s party is akin to Alcoholics Anonymous’ day by day mantra.

The chances of an EFF obstructive relapse is always on the cards leaving any kind of decision-making ability in tatters.