National Party South Africa? Whoa? Yes, that was exactly my response amid the news that that party will be relaunching in November this year. Even though I was taken aback by the news, unlike former NNP leader, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, I didnít find it to be a joke, hence I am engaging in the matter.
As a young South African I find it very interesting that this is happening. It is unfortunate that in a country of almost 47 million people, the official opposition is a good distance away from the ruling party when it comes to votership. It is dangerous to have such a unhealthy state of politics where people vote historically, and not based on the performance of their organisations of choice.
In South Africa, people still vote based on the colour of their skin, where black people still favour black-led organisations and white people favour white-led organisations. Most voters, particularly black voters, do not vote based on what their party of choice is doing or has done for them, but rather they vote just to keep that party in power and hope for the best.
Just like playing in a team with a big name star: pass him the ball and wish him luck, it doesnít matter if the said athlete is fit or not. Usually the individual will start to show arrogance by pitching for training and matches only when he wishes because he is guaranteed a place, so why bother?
The ANC is practicing such behaviour towards the people who vote for it because it (the ANC) is comfortable where it is. After all, didnít its current president once say that his party will rule till Jesus comes back?
While the ANC might make jokes of the NP, there is one party that should really feel threatened by this new development, and that is the DA. The DA currently enjoys a wide white following, particularly in major cities, and for the NP to succeed it will need, first, to convince white South Africans of its intentions.
Only if South Africans vote based on what their party of choice is doing for them, instead of simply on blind loyalty, will we have sound democracy.
The good thing about the reformation of the NP is that it shows that there are South Africans who feel unrepresented in Parliament, and they want their voices to be heard as well. And to me that is exactly what South Africa needs right now, different voices in pursuit of one common goal, a better South Africa for all.
The downfall of the NP will be if it becomes a party for a few. By that I mean a party for a certain racial group. Parties like the IFP and the Freedom Front Plus are good examples of how isolated a party can become.
They are almost non-existent today thanks to such thinking, only their leaders become more and more prominent as they grow weaker. We need a party without agendas, a party with the interests of South Africa as its standing point. South Africa needs a new voice.
I am not sure if the NP will be that voice that we so desperately need. Fact is we need it, and what form it takes is of no relevance to me and I am sure most sane South Africans feel the same way. I wish the NP all of the best if it is for South Africans.
Rudzani Floyd Musekwa
Louis Trichardt, Limpopo