Letter: Voters have spoken, now put them first

It is about South Africa and how we need to move forward, says the writer.

It is about South Africa and how we need to move forward, says the writer.

Published Jun 10, 2024


By Rod Solomons

What to do next after the People Have Spoken?

Shew! The debates are heated and hectic, within various political parties, but particularly around and amongst the ANC leadership about what to do about forming a new government.

I am simply astounded at some who think that the ANC still has all the aces up its sleeves. Let's get real folks, the ANC is no longer in power and this must not be about saving the ANC but about saving South Africa as a country and doing what is right for all of us! The other parties must also stop their gloating – they were also not the victors.

None of them got an outright majority and none of them are so-called kingmakers. The voters are the kingmakers and we did not accept everything that was in your manifestos. In fact, most of it was rejected.

Many people also voted against you based on your delivery or non-delivery track record.

So yes, all possibilities must be on the table as long as they will be in the interests of South Africa first and not necessarily those of any political party whether it is the ANC, DA ,MK, EFF or whoever. Those parties can plan for their future and interests another time.

Now, it is about South Africa and how we need to move forward.

This time President Ramaphosa read the room right when he said : “Our people have spoken. What this election has made plain is that the people of this country expect their leaders to work together to meet their needs".

We expect all of you to set your differences aside and within our Constitutional framework work together and do what is right for us.

So these demands or arrogance about “dealing with this one or that one because of their history or position, or this or that are frankly out of touch with reality.

A few questions to them:

1. Have you not observed the election results?

2. Are you aware that we had a low voter turnout of those who bothered to vote, with a whopping 40% of the 27 million registered voters not bothering to vote?

3. Did it register with you that out of 60 million South Africans, less than half (27 million) bothered to register? The other half just could not be bothered and went on with their lives.

4. The fact that no party received an outright majority means South Africans spoke loud and clear. Are you aware that almost all of us are not satisfied with all of your offerings or track records... so people want change?

So please don't be arrogant and again want to make deals in dark corners amongst yourselves that satisfy your cliques.

Have an open mind and always think about putting South Africans 1st and not putting your party or even yourselves first.

The President spoke a truth to all incoming members of Parliament and Provincial legislatures that I wish to repeat..."let us appreciate that the seats we occupy don't belong to us; they belong to the people".

Have a Government of National and Provincial Unity based on principles that put South Africa first and work towards having an inclusive and open South African People's Convention or Codesa or whatever you want to call it that can put us on a new path. Invite and involve as many of us as possible.

Put everything on the table including things that are ‘sacrosanct’ to your party! As the President said: "South Africans have demonstrated that they want to be part of making this country a better place"....so allow us to do so.

Remember this: put our country, our people and our constitution first, not your parties or careers. Be wise, be adult, and be less arrogant. Please, apply your mind properly – and good luck!

* Solomon is a Convenor at SA1STFORUM

Cape Times