Tuesday, 15 May 2012

On the Democratic Alliance's Separatist politics

Looking at images of the DA march on COSATU house gone violent, I am horrified  to say least.

image by Alexaner Joe of AFP taken from news24.com

Hellen  and co. have been harping on about COSATU's decision not to support the idea of a Youth wage subsidy for a while now. They argue approximately 423 000 South Africans stand to gain employment if the subsidy comes into being. Might I add, they do not have any concrete proof or stats of where these jobs will come from or ideas as to  how the subsidy should be spent. It sounds so simple doesn't it, give the private sector money and they give young people jobs. Well, it isn't. Chances are the subsidy would be accepted, youth employed and the old mules fired. If and when the subsidy is withdrawn, mass dismissals will follow.

Clearly Hellen didn't have a grandmother who told her tsuro no gudo (or the hare and the baboon) folk tales which ended with a moral lesson of some sort about taking short cuts and other deceitful behaviour. Why support the idea of a subsidy when we have so many resources we're not manufacturing? When we're importing so many goods we can make ourselves, when we're running a primarily import economy as opposed to an exporting one? Perhaps some COSATU members are right that the DA's interests are in youth exploitation. The majority of the unemployed youth are Black, perhaps making them feel that their employement makes them indebted to the DA (as opposed to their nation's vast resources) must be somewhat empowering. Who knows....

Never in my life have I heard or read of a political party marching on a civil society organization, it is confrontational and myopic to say the least. Their decision to ignore the police's warnings not to march to COSATU house ended in violence and further portrayals of Black people as violent and irrational. I am deeply saddened that a seemingly serious oppositional political party would bypass other platforms which democracy provides, including press mudslinging and biased TV shows, to make a vacuous statement. It's a damn shame.

 I had almost forgiven the DA for that reducing SA oppositional politics to that embarrassing and childish 'Stop Zuma' campaign of 2007 but now i'm more certain than ever that the DA is COMPLETELY out of touch with working class concerns. Where were they when COSATU was contesting Walmart and where will they be when COSATU is fighting for those workers to get their jobs back? Nowhere to be found I bet you.

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