Now that the Brexit storm in a teacup has passed (Brexit: How the UK (and SA) got punk'd), South Africans face their own storm on August 3. These elections have morphed into warfare, people being murdered, rioting, our new national sport of burning tyres and destroying property making headlines on a daily basis — except for the SABC coverage of the blooming jacarandas.
The question is this: when we wake up on August 4 and the smoke rather than dust has settled, what will have changed?
These elections are not about getting the right people for the job — people who know how to run a municipality. What qualifications are required? What previous experience is needed for the job?
Local elections are about the beginnings of a political career, not about running a municipality. All political parties have nominated candidates for election. On what basis, may I ask?
Most are budding politicians and the past 22 years have proved beyond doubt that most politicians know very little about running any business, let alone the biggest business in the country, SA Inc. We even have a retired farmer wanting a shot at being a mayor.
There is one exception, Pravin Gordhan.
I am afraid that when the sun rises on August 4 we will have only changed the guard, with a new set of political aspirants who will have to be reminded constantly that the excitement of being in politics has passed, it is now time to run this business. What business, they will ask. This is a municipality. We will appoint our friends who voted us in, we will travel in luxury, get paid well and generally have a good time, while amnesia sets in and the election promises become just what they were, a pack of lies.
Please, mayors and councillors, you have been handed a business. Its function is to provide services, collect revenue for said services, acquire, maintain and expand the asset base and deliver dividends to the shareholders (citizens) while adding value to the business. Much like a factory, mine, farm, supermarket, even a street vendor selling fruit on the corner.
A business that has its guts ripped out soon fails. Oops, sorry, I forgot this is a municipality, not a complicated business, but a playground for aspirant politicians.
Peter Gordon Grant,