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Why I won’t vote ANC…or DA

I was five years old when SA held its first democratic elections in 1994. I don’t recall much about election day other than the excitement my parents and their friends had about finally being able to cast their votes. Voting was a dream they shared with many other South Africans and its realisation marked a new era where dreams such as improved living conditions for the previously disenfranchised majority would also hopefully be realised. For the remainder of the 1990s I had no doubt that I too would grow up to be a proud ANC supporter. That position has since changed drastically.

The year 1996 would prove to be a significant year in my life: it was the year I started grade one at a “Model C” school and also the year we replaced our township address with a suburban one. These are events I would have otherwise taken lightly had my parents not told me how privileged I was to enjoy opportunities they could have, at best, only dreamt of. I was also made aware that the reason why I could enjoy liberties closed off to generations of my family was because of the “self-sacrificial” actions of the ANC to ensure freedom and equality. There are a few South Africans where merely changing legislation resulted in immediate material changes for them. For the remainder, however, more than just freedom of choice was needed for actual changes to occur.

On its website the ANC is described as “South Africa’s National Liberation Movement”. Very few would dispute this. With corruption, nepotism and cronyism running rife in the ANC-led government, many would also not dispute that the main recipients of “liberation” are those related to or connected to ANC elites. What many people can dispute, however, is that the ANC has continued to liberate ordinary South Africans from the deprived socio-economic conditions they faced prior to democratic rule.

The government is quick to defend itself against allegations of being ineffective in addressing poverty. According to The South African Institute of Race Relations the number of South Africans living on less than $2 or about R16 a day has more than halved from 1994. The ANC would further make use of statistics to show how over three-quarters of households live in formal housing: over 80% of these houses are electrified and have access to running water. These victories are important and the ruling party should be congratulated on appropriately directing state funds to achieve such ends. But judging from the frequency of service-delivery protests, the recent events in Marikana, the rise of populist leader Julius Malema and several attacks on foreign nationals, it would seem that such victories have not convinced South Africans the government is fully committed to improving the standard of living of the working class.

It’s all good and well to have a house with water, electricity and R16 a day to spend on the rest of your needs but is that enough? The answer is no. If those in government think their minor victories on poverty are enough then maybe they should reduce their salaries to match the living conditions of South Africans who live in RDP houses and earn R16 a day.

I’m sure they would not favour such reductions even if they included hand-outs such as state welfare grants. So for them to think the working class is senseless enough to be satisfied with such minor victories is in an insult to their intelligence.

Working-class South Africans are not so naïve as to believe the government has done all in its power to address poverty. Not only does the looting happen through corruption but also a bureaucracy filled with people who loot the valuable time that they should be spending doing their jobs. Absent teachers, nurses and clerks are prime examples of such government employees. South Africa is one of the biggest spenders on education in the world yet our education system remains a shambles. You need only look at the textbook disaster in Limpopo and into the abyss which is the Eastern Cape department of education. For as long as the input (money) does not match the output (a well-educated population) then we cannot say enough has been done.

Unfortunately, politics are largely about perceptions and not always about what you’ve achieved. It’s a pity the official opposition party has taken contradictory stances on issues regarding the working class. Calling workers who are exercising their democratic right when asking for better wages “a greedy elite” can’t have won the DA too many working-class votes. Although relatively successful in the Western Cape, especially when looking at the turnaround in the City of Cape Town, the opposition has failed to replicate its success in working-class areas. The toilet incident is such an instance. Many South Africans who, like me, do not identify with the opposition party will find themselves in a tricky position when at the polls in 2014. The opposition has done little to convince me to vote for it and the ANC has done a lot to leave me feeling ashamed and irresponsible if I vote for it in the coming election.


  • Siya Mnyanda is an active commentator on politics, social justice issues and technology. He holds an undergraduate qualification in social sciences from UCT and a postgraduate qualification in business administration from Wits Business School. He currently works for a multinational company in the private sector.


  1. jandr0 jandr0 6 October 2012

    @ntozakhona: “In any case psychologists call your style ”projecting.””

    How rich. And that statement coming from the ARCH projecter!

    Stop projecting your conclusions of other people onto them.

  2. Barry Barry 6 October 2012


    I may be white but I’m not stupid. You seem to have a serious problem with non blacks. Your comments are littered with racial overtones and you are clearly a bitter person just like Tofolux. That’s obviously why you support him/her so defensively.

    You do know that you come across as extremely racist, don’t you, or do you think that black people are somehow exempt from racism? Perhaps you don’t even care?

    Yet you imply or accuse anyone that has anything to say about your comments as racist…

    What is this supposed to mean for eg.

    “it seems our comments are eventually beginning to touch the raw nerve as your true colours are being exposed day by day. It feels so good.”

    Oh please???

    “You can fool some people some times but you cant fool all the people all the time” ~Bob Marley

  3. jandr0 jandr0 6 October 2012

    @Tofolux: I’m not religious, but this quote from the Christian’s book best describes my view of you:

    “And why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, and not notice the beam which is in your own eye?”

    ANC has closed MORE schools than DA.
    ANC has screwed up Limpopo and Eastern Cape shools, DA is doing uncountably much better in WC.
    ANC has BIGGER toilet scandal than DA,
    ANC has MUCH MUCH MORE corruption and scandal than DA (if you really want to call that one issue on DA side corruption).

    (Other examples omitted…)

    Yet you keep on pointing fingers at DA (the splinter), and seem to support the ANC (the beam).

    Be honest to yourself. Put the splinters next to the beams and compare them without bias… objectively (considering only who is doing the best for South Africa today – because we vote for today and the future, NOT for the past).

  4. jandr0 jandr0 6 October 2012

    @Tofolux: Further to my comment on ntozakhona and “projecting.”

    Let me quote you:

    “it is quite obvious from this forum where the desperate, disloyal, disingenuous and downright rude section of supporters are.” You are projecting.

    “Not only do they blindly worship a woman…” You are still projecting.

    “… whose toyi-toying skills are non–existent and desperate… ” Now you are just being plain derogatory, and you blame others of being rude?

    “… it merely makes the point that they are so desperate to patronise…” Some more projecting by you.

    “… and coerce blacks in general…” And even more projecting by you.

    As per ntozakhona earlier comment, I would appreciate it if you would stop projecting.

  5. Barry Barry 6 October 2012


    I’d also like to add that I don’t even read Tofolux’s messages anymore. There’s no format, they’re too long, very boring, and the worst part – nonsensical.

    I rarely read comments longer than a few sentences so I probably don’t read all yours either.

    Just so you know, I’m not hanging on your every word.

    Good Day

  6. Charlotte Charlotte 6 October 2012

    @ ntozakhona# Why shouldn’t you get my name right? Are you forgetting who wrote what – you or your alter ego (like the Dave Harris/Jeremy combo?) – identifiable because you both hate the DA and stick up for the ANC (Arrogance, Nepotism, Corruption) no matter what! Is she the one who insolently messes with commenter’s names – but decries the ‘lack of respect’ shown to her? Remind her/you/whoever that respect is earned.

    The writing of Toffux is distinctive: … Repetition – (‘party of the bosses’- twice’); Worn out words & cliches (‘ et al’, ‘chorus’ etc. .. didn’t you forget ‘hymn-book’ and Africans in general and Blacks in particular’ or some such rot?); Unnecessary verbiage, (Oh Lord, just read it back!!); and the hogging of the end game – always with “Me”, “Me”, “Me”, … “What I Think’, ‘What I Wrote’, ‘What I Want’ etc. – just as you have done.
    And what a giveaway to say “Lennon and David. I suppose the language used by Toffolux is too thick and quite erudite for you. Do not panic, you will hopefully one day reach her level.” If anyone reached her level, they’d be 6 feet undergournd.

    What mystifies me is why she/ you are given the space. It’s not as if you ever come up with anything new – just the same old waffle.
    Sometimes, we use private codewords to mark writing in competitions so as not to have to waste time re-reading it. CWOT means ‘Complete Waste of Time.’
    We also sometimes use FWOT.

  7. ntozakhona ntozakhona 7 October 2012

    I am flattered that Charlotte find my writing style indistinguishable from that of Jeremy and Dave Harris given that Barry and Critical Cynic unwisely tried to challenge my mastery of their mother tongue. There was book about Charlotte and some pig we read at primary school and my teacher struggled to get me spell that name right. It is seemingly a common name that should not cause you to be so sensitive about.

    I also used the description party of the bosses and am not quibling their right to protect their interests through such. It is however sickening of a large number amongst to demonise the movement that advances the interests of the working class and the poor. An honest DA supporting commentor on Siya’s article acknowledged that the DA has challenges in intergrating people with a working class backgound into their leadership ranks. Such honesty is rare in this forum.

    Jandro I seem to have excited you with the psychological concept of projecting. You are now clinging to it and abusing it through a lack of sufficient undertanding of what it means.

    I have in all my contributions in this forum not referred to race once. I do use African frequently. However racism and sexism are a factor on our national life. Racism is at the root of inequality in my beloved land. It is not about merely prejudice but power relations. Economic power resides in the hands of former colonialists. Do I see Dave Harris, Marion Sparg, Barbara Hogan and Derek Hanekom nodding?

  8. ntozakhona ntozakhona 7 October 2012

    Toffolux dear little sister, not that you need to be told this but it is the impatience and militancy of young people of the of 1976 and the daring 80s that brought to a dispensation in which we can all freely express ourselves. Continue defeding that gain and advance the greatest challenge of your time – economic emancipation.

    As a high school student I was detained incommunicado in solitary confinement, tortured and then charged with economic sabotage. The colonialists cannot do that to you due to the victories we scored. Their desperate hope is that we will believe the insults and surrender our hard earned freedom.

    Siya Albert Einstein had said “the problems of our time cannot be resolved by the same level of thinking that brought them about”. The South African problem is a result of colonial conquest and greed.

    Heed the words of Eistein, he knows what he is talking about, he had to flee the herrenvolk which was insulting and accusing his people of all the things the ANC (a euphemism for Africans) today and yesterday stands accused of.

  9. ntozakhona ntozakhona 7 October 2012

    Hey Barry that quotation is not Bob Marley’s, it is JFKs. Like Bob Marley all we seek is economic justice by fair and legal means.

  10. Tofolux Tofolux 7 October 2012

    @Charloot, you should take the opportunity of battling me on ideas and its obvious that despite the mundane insults, when one scratches the surface, much like the Madam, there is nothing there. @ jandro, we africans had/have a more sophisticated belief in the esoteric. It was the missionaries with their guns that came and messed us up with religion. In fact, even the apartheid masters used religion on the poor intellect of those they convinced to hate people. How Christian is that? But lets interrogate your love of your DA. If DA is made up of old Nationalists, the remnants of the other party, servants and other unimportant individuals and if their ideas are still based on these old ideologies then what can you offer when your ideas comes from seperatism? In fact what dominates your thinking other than the business interests, passing laws in CT as to how many times a dog barks etc? If one comes from the belief of superiority and if this superiority complex comes out over and over again in your comments, then how can you claim that you represent any interests other than making sure you instill this superiority notion. No wonder Vavi laughed off the idea of joining forces with you because he/we know and strategically recognised your ulterior motives.

  11. jandr0 jandr0 7 October 2012

    @Tofolux: You say: “But lets interrogate your love of your DA.”

    Let me repeat: Do NOT project. I have no LOVE for the DA, nor for any political party.

    If we are going to debate issues, then do not decide for me what I think. I will do that, thank you.

    You say: “If DA is made up of old Nationalists, the remnants of the other party, servants and other unimportant individuals and if their ideas are still based on these old ideologies then what can you offer when your ideas comes from seperatism?”

    The KEY word there is IF. You can not equate today’s voters with the voters of 30 years ago, when the white move away from apartheid was gaining serious momentum. Although interpretations and views do not agree 100%, generation length is generally taken to be about 25 years.

    So, you can not equate people in the DA today with people in the National Party (who actually merged with the ANC) 25 and more years ago.

    In the same way, you can not equate people in the ANC today with the people in the ANC of 25 years ago.

    That is why I say the DA of today is not the DP of yesteryear, and neither is the ANC the ANC of yesteryear. You have to judge them on their track record NOW. Today.

    Personally. my ideas do not come from separatism (as you imply). My ideas come from studying (albeit as a lay person) all of history, including tribes, empires, monarchies, communism, capitalism, socialism, fascism, etc. Based on that, I make my choice.

  12. Barry Barry 7 October 2012


    I prefer the way Bob Marley sang it and by the way Bob Marley was more interested in uniting people whereas you are the complete opposite, dreadful piece of work.

  13. jandr0 jandr0 7 October 2012

    @ntozakhona: You say: “I seem to have excited you with the psychological concept of projecting. You are now clinging to it and abusing it through a lack of sufficient undertanding of what it means.”

    Yes, you have excited me with the concept of projecting. I believe it happens such a lot, and is a major cause of the problems we humans cause between ourselves.

    Fine if you believe you are the “authority” on projection, and have decided – in your wisdom – that I lack … “sufficient understanding of what it means.”

    You say: “As a high school student I was detained incommunicado in solitary confinement, tortured and then charged with economic sabotage.”

    I am so sorry to hear that. I cannot undo that. I can only work towards a country where that must never happen again.

    Similar incident, but obviously not nearly as intense, happened to one of my employees just over a year ago. Intimidated for more than three hours in a cell, completely innocent, without being charged, and although only psychologically tortured, came out visibly shaken. When I finally heard of it, I went to the police station to protest his innocence, and was exposed to intimidation and stone-walled.

    My employee was black. Most of my employees are. All of the policemen involved were black. He has a complete dread and mistrust for the police under the ANC government.

    We must get this country right. ANC’s cadre deployment and lack of accountability is destroying it.

  14. jandr0 jandr0 7 October 2012

    @ntozakhona: You say: “The South African problem is a result of colonial conquest and greed.”

    Hi ntozakhona, life is much more complex than that. I agree that colonialism is (actually was) a factor. I also agree that greed is (and still is) a factor. But if we are going to reduce the cause to just those two, then we are going to come up with the wrong answer.

    Unfortunately the comment space provided here does not allow for much expounding of ideas, so – in all fairness – it is highly likely that you do not really think those are the ONLY contributory factors.

    On my side, I prefer focusing on the past with the view of learning from mistakes, rather than a view of finding someone to blame.

    So what are some of the things I (think I’ve) learned from the past:

    Capitalism is not perfect.
    Fascism is worse.
    And Communism is worse too.
    Full socialism is also worse.
    Syndicalism basically failed.
    You cannot legislate behaviour (100 km/h markings on taxis, yeah right!).
    Humans are “greedy” (in that they want what makes life good for them).
    Greed in government is bad!
    Greed in capitalism is a mix of bad and good (since capitalism harnesses the greed).
    Politicians will promise (and promise, and promise… so we must measure them, unemotionally, on their actual delivery).

    PS. Government fiscal policy is about Government REvenue, Expenditure and Debt (in other words, GREED).

    Nkandlagate just confirms that.

  15. Graham Graham 7 October 2012

    Not sure if you want to scratch the surface of Zuma, he may enjoy it LOL.
    “DA is made up of old Nationalists, the remnants of the other party”. Unfortunately you will find that the NP MPs all crossed to the ANC. That’s where the Nationalists have gone – not to the DA as you would so like to believe. Separatism is alive and well in the ruling party… Your vote for the ANC therefore supports those that invented and still practise separatism. Sleep well.

  16. ntozakhona ntozakhona 7 October 2012

    Barry the appropriate answer would have been thank you, I did not know. Manners maketh a man. Bob Marley also sang that “Everyone is talking about peace, I do not want no peace, i need equal rights and justice” That is what the overwhelming majority of South Africans need – economic justice.

    Do you need any more free lessons. Ask the veiligheid stak, I am good at those and history has proved me right.

  17. ntozakhona ntozakhona 7 October 2012

    Jandro I suppose you do not know what torture is. It is , amongst others being knocked against walls and beateb to the pulp by rugby player sized men, having your private parts electrocuted, having your nails pulled off… for hundred and eighty days.

    Please do not compare that to mere police incompetence which you have a legal recourse for. Those of us who went through that including the likes of Congress Motshwene, Ruth First and Onkgopotse Tiro who were letter bombed to unrecognisable pieces did that to build a country where all would share in the wealth of the country.

    I do not need pity as I faced the intolerant monster knowing its cruelty and regard of life as cheap. The residues of those tendencies remain in many of our fellow South Africans, ANC was a capital crime as it is an object of insults.

  18. Rodney Ian Rodney Ian 7 October 2012

    Since she started her incessant, insolent yammering on Thoughtleader, has T-fux managed to persuade Anyone to see the present ANC in even a fairly good light? Has she convinced any of the numerous black members of the DA. (which are increasing daily) to return to the disgrace that is the present ANC?

    Why doesn’t she take her soap-box to the learners who got no text-books this year and tell them how lucky they are; or those dying of cancer in state hospitals because the hospital system is so mucked up that there is no treatment for them?
    She should take her soap-box to the countless people living in shacks or those who’ve been affected by crime and get them to rejoice in the more than 230 million rand for the refurbishment of Zuma-kandla and explain to them why they should again vote for the corruption and self-enrichment for ‘certain’ select people of the ANC. (Think of all the accommodation, water, roads, electricity etc that that money could have been spent on).
    She should tell the miners who still won’t work, that if mines close down, there’ll be no jobs at all. Or they could put Zuma’s nephew in charge of another mine – and never get paid at all. Or even ask them why they took the job in the first place if they were so unhappy?

  19. Problem...... Problem...... 8 October 2012

    When you have the same bigots dominating these fora to propogate their inane drivel the fora become “consitpated” by their own effluent, and die. I guess this one has reached that point. M&G should take note. Cheers.

  20. Tofolux Tofolux 8 October 2012

    @Jandro, why is it so difficult to engage honestly? Why is it that DA supporters find it so hard to declare themselves. Try as you might you are not fooling me so I would suggest that you come out from the dark corner and show yr face. It is exactly this that our wonderful Madiba said, ”our greatest fear is not the darkness, but the light”.
    Also, once again you have chosen not to engage me on hard issues. This fickleness of self, myself and I, is a non-issue. Engage me on issues. But let me leave you with this, you are wrong about the KEY. The key is: IDEOLOGY. There is no ideology in DA other than to hate ANC. ANC has an ideology, it has a history, it has visionaries and it is a liberation movement. All members old and young are bound to age-old processes of democracy, processess, induction etc. Hence Jandro, we are not led by individualism which seeks to use blacks in general and african in particular so that an all male and but white in particular with a history of white Nationalism can sit and rule over them.
    @Ntozakhona, I can never betray the contribution and sacrifices of all of those who fought and died. I cannot, as part of the younger generation, throw away this freedom, I just cannot!

  21. barry barry 8 October 2012


    What you surprisingly don’t realize is that you already have equal rights and justice, and have had for almost two decades.

    If you don’t think you have equal rights and justice, blame yourself, not some random person, named Barry, lol.

    Bob Marley also sang “Africa Unite” not “Africans Unite”. Please note he also sang “And we’re moving out of Babylon” which means the materialistic, corrupt, system that you obviously embrace so greedily.

    Anyway, please stop bringing this up because it’s getting boring now.

    Do you need any more free reality lessons?

  22. barry barry 8 October 2012


    If you want economic justice, get a good job and save your money. Don’t expect any handouts. That’s just ridiculous and will never happen.

    Get used to it, it’s called life.

    As my black friends in the apartheid era used to say …

    “A half loaf is better than nothing”

    and also

    “Nothing for Mahala”

    Good Luck

  23. barry barry 8 October 2012

    What I don’t understand is why the ANC chose the old apartheid government as a foundation. Lack of creativity or just lazy?

    I mean even the cops look the same. No wonder people like Tofolux and ntozakhona are confused.

    It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 20 years and hardly anything has changed. Maybe just a search and replace in the policies from “black to white” and “white to black.


  24. Lennon Lennon 8 October 2012

    @ ntozakhona: There is nothing erudite about diverting attention away from a question or a point.

  25. barry barry 8 October 2012

    I won’t be posting or visiting here anymore as it makes me feel too good.

    ntozakhona, good luck in you “quest”. ;)

    all the best

  26. Jaded Jaded 9 October 2012

    @Siya u don said it now! :p I know the boat ur in-same boat-except quite a bit easier for me really. I come from a long-time supporting family of the ANC. I’ve been shipped off to white boarding schools since before I could speak English, and barely able to read/write in my own language. Conclusion: Won’t be voting DA or ANC either. Mostly because of their supporters. That’s all I need to know. I listen to ANC supporters, a great deal justifying the current status quo of corruption, noncompliance, not having to account, fast-track everything at any expense etc. Then I listen to the DA supporters, and a great deal of them I went to school with; but I will not be supporting. The astonishing lack of understanding and compassion blows me the frig away. DA MAY stand for something (I haven’t even bothered to read it) but im more concerned with their supporters, their beliefs, and the current discourse. eg. a lot of “it’s been almost 2 decades” crap, yet most of them can’t even greet in a black language “2 decades later”. Yes, that tells me they are definitely reaching out to blacks. Supporters of both, seem to be communicating a message that leaves me chilled, disgusted, and constantly considering contingency plans. But most of all, the scariest, they leave me hopeless. So I shall vote, not ANC/DA/Religious party, but most certainly I shall vote. And you should too; listen to their supporters; and take it from there-but don’t abstain ndoda, or spoil it! You owe the…

  27. ntozakhona ntozakhona 10 October 2012

    Where have I heared the ”my black friends” refrain before? Ah, from those who never voted and participated in apartheid oppression. In fact it seems no one ever did.

    Go Barry Go!

  28. couterpoint couterpoint 10 October 2012


    I understand your concerns, but we may as well get used to it. As you quite clearly point out, the situation is “hopeless”, and not about to change, actually it’ll probably just get progressively worse.

    For the record, I’m white but I can greet and communicate somewhat in Zulu, as I was born and lived most of my life in KZN and made an effort to try and learn the language.

    However, I’ve been in Johannesburg for over a year now, so I talk to black people here in English as they’re from all over Africa and I don’t want to offend anyone by talking to them in Zulu.

    Besides a lot of black people would be offended by a white person speaking to them in an “African” language as they perceive the act as “talking down to them.

    Life in SA is complicated but we simply have to move forward, nothing is guaranteed..

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