Tuesday, March 9

Election Posters

Its election season in South Africa. The reason we know this, is because there are about three posters on each lamp post (and there are plenty of lamp posts, for you foolish people who would ask "But how many lamp posts can there be in Africa?"). Strangely enough, it is one of the things that has not changed at all since only white people were allowed to vote. Most of the electioneering takes place on street poles. Living in the Western Cape, I can only comment on the posters here. So here goes.

The ANC runs the province currently thanks to the NNP selling them their political power in return for god knows what. The fear of the ANC is that the NNP voters might be upset at the NNP for doing this, and all vote for the DA. Getting kicked out of Cape Town after they just got here is not on the ANC's list of top ten things to do this year.

So the ANC is campaigning in Afrikaans, with the bold statement " n Volkskontrak om werk te skep and armoede te beveg". (The English version says "a Peoples contract to create work and fight poverty"). This is a bold move in what some see as the heart of the Afrikaner nation. Volk was a strong word in Afrikaner nationalist politics, often abused by the National Party, the ANC's new allies.

The NNP on the other hand comes up with "Jy verdien n billike deel" or "You deserve a fair share". What does this mean? I don't know. A Fair share of what? Of the riches of the land? Is the NNP now saying that it is in favour of a communist style redistribution of wealth? This from the party that drove the electorate to the polls with cries of "Rooi gevaar!!" ("Red Danger")

If I didn't know any better, Id say the NNP and ANC got their slogans mixed up when it was sent to the printers.

The DA has come out with "Suid Afrika verdien beter" ("South Africa deserves better"). In white areas it is also using the poster "The NNP is the ANC. Vote DA". I must say, the DA has been trying hard to shake its all white image. The only white guy I've seen has been Tony Leon. African music, Rallies in Townships, fighting poverty and crime as the political agenda. They've done it all. One poster, seen only in poorer areas, shows Tony posing with a obviously poor coloured family. Im surprised there isn't one with him kissing black babies.

Of the smaller parties I haven't seen much. The Freedom Front has a few posters up. "Daar is weer hoop" or "There is hope again" doesn't make much sense to me either. Given that their fondest hope is an independent Afrikaner homeland, and that it will never happen, Im not sure what they are hopeful about.

I haven't seen any posters of Patricia de Lille's party, which Im unhappy about. I was hoping she could get a bit more organized, but it looks like she hasn't been able get up there to play with the big boys yet.

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