quote:April 14: election day in South Africa. People on the ground, especially the poor, are fed up with the false promises the ANC has made since 1994. The ANC promised free basic services and the right to water is enshrined in the constitution but municipal water services have been privatized. And although the youth were promised free education, they are still expelled from schools for not paying their school fees. Average life expectancy has fallen from 64 years in 1996 to 50.7 years in 2002 and the national AIDS rate sits at 20.1 per cent.
From: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Registered: May 2003
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Babbler # 3178
posted 14 April 2004 10:31 PM
I just finished a six month internship with a democracy building organization in Cape Town and then spent a little less than a month working in a rural community in KZN. My colleagues in Cape Town were resolving to hold their noses and vote for the ANC yesterday. The other alternatives were significantly less palatable, although they recognized the ANC had failed to deliver on many of their election promises of 1994 and 1999 and seemed to working in a neo liberal vacuum isolated from their tripartite partners the SA Communist Party and COSATU. Some of my colleagues had decided not to vote at all.
It was a different story once I hit a rural community with high unemployment, no electricity, 17 sometimes working taps for 5000 people, and 8-10 funerals per week (most of which involved AIDS related deaths). People were willing to travel up to 300 km to make their voice heard in this election. And with few exceptions, they were voting for the ANC, this time with enthusiasm. Because although they didn't have ANY running water five years ago. And they didn't have a school. And they didn't have a road. And now they did.
While I was in SA, it appeared the biggest opposition the ANC faced was the internal strife inside the party. And it's biggest source of unconditional support came from many of the poorest people who had seen small change, like running water in their village, materialize since the ANC took power in 1994.
From: in exile | Registered: Oct 2002
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