Dr Lucas Ntyintyane’s letter to Business Day on February 10 (Why the DA will not win my vote) is introduced with the words “The DA’s policies may sound good on paper but won’t win my vote.” He then exposes the tragedy that bedevils politics, not only in SA, but in many other countries by saying, “Identity politics are more important than policies or personalities.”

This also illustrates Ntyintyane’s state of mind  

The success of promoting identity politics is precisely why SA suffered the tragedy and devastation of apartheid under the National Party from 1948 until it collapsed in the late 1980s under the combined weight of its own inherent economic contradictions and the sanctions imposed by an enraged international community.

Not having learnt the lessons of recent history, the ANC, from 1994 onwards, has traveled the same path, again with tragic consequences which are clearly seen in our failing economy and collapsed and collapsing state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Once again, failure has been brought about by economic contradiction. Instead of politically imposed e-commerce sanctions we have a situation in which business, both local and international, is reluctant to invest in SA-based enterprises.

It prefers to create new enterprises in other places in the world. People of all races, having precious skills, are leaving SA in their droves and migrating to countries where economic policies are realistic and where identity politics play a minimal role

The DA is striving to create a new society based on the living reality of what is required to live and prosper in a global world. Race simply bedevils this fraught situation. If we cannot get away from identity politics we will never be a successful nation.

The DA is the only political party that has the collective will to publicly debate this vexed question and, as a country, we should encourage it to find an acceptable and workable set of solutions that will redress the injustices of the past and show a way forward to grow our economy.

Ntyintyane speaks of the DA’s dented image. The DA is holding an elective conference in the near future. All positions, including that of Helen Zille, are up for grabs. There are credible candidates standing for election. Let us be patient and see what unfolds.

Images can be improved.

John Mendelsohn
DA councilor, Johannesburg

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