In my opinion, our country went through the most before these elections.
From steep increases in fuel pricing, coming very close to a recession and last but not least, to having the worst load shedding in the history of our already horrible history of load shedding. All of this was politically motivated, of course. It was just another case of the powers-that-be trying to show us that they can fix our country’s problems, right?
I mean, that was what everyone seemed to believe, unless I was following the wrong trends.
Even so, we cannot deny how many of us doubted that these elections would be any different. In the same breath, a great number of us wished they would be. This was supposed to be a chance towards revolutionizing South Africa.
In fact, these elections were different. They were fairly predictable, yes, but still different. The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) decline was predicted after losing support to the Vrydom Front Plus (VF+) and Patricia De Lille’s GOOD party. Mmusi Maimane’s squad lost 5 seats in the National Assembly, the VF+ gained six and the GOOD party got 2 seats on their first try, earned through 70 000 plus voters. That’s not bad at all for a party that was founded only 6 months ago.
The biggest gains and losses came from a domestic dispute between ‘cash money’ and ‘young money,’ which was even more dramatic because the African National Congress’ (ANC) losses equaled the Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) gains, to exactly 19 seats. ‘Cong-red-ulations’ EFF.
The changes are significant, yes, but what difference will they make?
Well, next to no difference, I feel. The ANC is still an overwhelming majority in parliament. The representation will most definitely still be lacking of youth inclusion, but I do believe we’ll see less corruption. Just to clarify, I mean we will not have less corruption…only see less.
In essence, no revolutionary change is upon us even though it’s what so many of us hope for. We fell short at the elections and there’ll hardly be any change to the everyday, happily oblivious, South African’s life.
One thing we must admit and learn from is how misdirected the focus is from these revolutionary prophets and their prophecies. Often, we predict the future based on trending hash tags and topics discussed. But the truth is, social media is not a true reflection of our country’s true opinions. We forget how our strongest voices are the least privileged and those that could not care less about posting on social media.
Heck, they might not even get a cellphone signal. So often, we are arrogant enough to believe that a viral tweet and a trend is enough to decide what is on the mind of every South African. As individuals consumed by our own struggles we can forget the struggles of the most marginalized, who are also neglected by our government, and how strong they are in numbers. And so these prophecies based on social media trends often forget the voices of those who are under-represented online and fail to account for the experiences and needs of the majority. What the election results have shown us is that there is a difference between the truth and sensationalism, and how the latter always gets more virtual support than the truth.
For now, I think something we can all agree on, as a country, is how Mihlali Ndamase is our own resident Beyoncé, and that my friends is not just because she was trending harder than the elections. No, rather it is because we would all rather stay home and stalk her instead of getting up to go and vote. Struu.
But that is just my opinion. What is yours?