The Cape Town municipal elections, and the ANC, DA and ID reviewed

The eagerly awaited Independent Democrats candidate for mayor of Cape Town has been announced, and it’s not Patricia de Lille. So it’s time for an overview of the 3 main parties. My unhappiness about the 3 of them (and that I include the ID in the mix is at least something positive for them) can briefly be summarised as follows.

The ANC is running the city extremely poorly. Mismanagement, secrecy, infighting (the ousting of Rasool as party leader has still not been explained to my satisfaction, the press’s unconvincing Africanist wing explanation notwithstanding, and the secrecy only makes it worse). One minute the ANC is spending all its energy fighting bitterly amongst itself, ignoring delivery, but as soon as an election threatens the nice jobs, the cracks are papered over, and the talk is of unity, advancing delivery for the people. Put crudely, the ANC talks the talk(s), but doesn’t walk the walk. Government, especially local government, is as much, if not more, about competency than ideology.

The DA is ideologically the party I am least likely to vote for. To make their case worse, they’ve shown cronyistic tendencies by initially ousting the well-respected and effective South Peninsula councillor Nicki Holderness, and replacing her with Marius van Rensburg, unknown younger brother of the Deep South Constituency chairman, Leon van Rensburg. A safe seat for the family. To her credit, mayoral candidate Helen Zille came out in support of the ousted Holderness, who has since been reinstated, but the provincial leader Theuns Botha didn’t endear himself with his public statements, and remains even more off-putting for me than Tony Leon is as national leader. Even worse, Lennit Max, the expelled ID floor-crosser, who held onto his seat by the most dubious means in order to jump ship, finished right behind Zille in the race for the the mayoral nomination. To me, the DA is still tainted by the old NP poison still running through this province.

The ID has appointed Simon Grindrod as mayoral candidate, and not Patricia de Lille as was widely rumoured. This can only be a good thing. The ID is too much of a personality cult, and appointing de Lille as candidate would really highlight the lack of anyone else notable in the party. The ID was rocked by defections and infighting during the floor crossing window, especially in the Western Cape, where much of their early support came from old NP supporters and candidates. They paid the price of growing too quickly, accepting anyone who expressed interest, many with dubious baggage, and paid the price. Many of these leapt elsewhere as soon as the paychecks were flashed. They’ve made a bold statement in appointing an unknown white male to oppose two high profile female candidates, claiming that racial window dressing plays no part in their thinking. And they probably mean it. So who is Simon Grindrod? He’s not off to a good start in that his only prior political experience was as founder of a group advocating the return of the death penalty. His comment that this is of no importance as the mayor has no jurisdiction on this matter is unconvincing. Saying that your support of a barbaric system that puts to death countless innocent people every year (reglardless of the other arguments against it) is of no account as long as you can balance the books doesn’t hold water for someone in a leadership position such as the mayor. A later statement about the current administration that never before have the people been so poorly served. smacks of hyperbole. Does he really disregard years of apartheid misrule, the wondrous leadership of Peter Marais?

Uurgh. So I guess I’ll have to rely on Observatory (where I’m still registered) coming up with something like a Monster Raving Obs Party to make my attendance at the election beauty pageant worthwhile.


  1. Can I genuinely ask, without meaning to offend you, what politics means to you? I frequently encounter sentiments like yours: a disgust with ‘talk’, infighting, factionalism, cronyism; a desire for ‘walk’, delivery, integrity, unity, democracy.

    What would have to happen in a party’s politics to make you offer your commitment, however qualified, to that party?

  2. I have no coment just apriciate that there is somewhere away for south african to coment its just that when i trry to contact some departments there is no responce but i allways undersand that people are busy out there and as abusiness man i know its very tirete to brake through, in the maintime its painfull to see people working inyour industrie realising there is too much going on but nothing for you even however chip yyou can low prices no one is willing to give your atriy see what you can do.

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