On Air today: Talking to South Africa’s next generation of voters.

_45689431_007207175-11South Africa is voting today and the ANC is facing the biggest challenge to its grip on power since the end of apartheid 15 years ago. But there’s little doubt it will win.

Today we are in Port Elizabeth where  the face of Jacob Zuma stares down from posters on flyovers and corrugated iron shacks. 

 The area has a rich history in the struggle against apartheid, and veterans have told us their stories of imprisonment and beatings, and how the ANC brought them freedom. It runs in their blood they say.

But speak to some young people, and it’s clear they don’t necessarily feel this.

One of the citizen reporters we’ve been working with this week is Lucky – he’s clear that he wants politicians to stop talking about the past, and concentrate on the future.

But Asanda , who’s also been reporting for us, thinks the history matters. She doesn’t like Jacob Zuma, but thinks the party is bigger than one man.

Is the ANC trading on past glories, or can it address the very real problems South Africa faces and provide solutions for the next 15 years?

Our question today is:  Does the ANC deserve another term?

Sanda, Lucky and other young South Africans from the townships here will be joining us to discuss this … post your thoughts here and let us know what questions you’d like to ask them.

30 Responses to “On Air today: Talking to South Africa’s next generation of voters.”

  1. 1 Tom K in Mpls
    April 22, 2009 at 00:21

    “Is the ANC trading on past glories, or can it address the very real problems…”

    This question shows the problem that has faced voters for all recorded history. It strongly implies that these are ‘The’ two possibilities or choices. The truth of it is, they are completely unrelated. It is up to voters to see this.

    In this question you are asked if ‘past glories’ are a question. Of course they are! And for two very good reasons. First, a good reputation is incredibly important to getting anything done politically. Second, it is human nature to not want to loose any form of power. I never ‘blame’ anyone for this.

    As for ‘address the very real problems’ , That is the very real question. I don’t have the background to make any valid observations on this issue. But I hope the voters of South Africa will show the intelligence and emotional discipline to listen and look beyond the bad questions and hype? Can they see if one, both or neither of the choices presented has the ability and integrity to work beyond the promoted divide to what is best for the people?

    This last question is the one key issue that us of the US has been struggling under for at least the last 70 years. The sad part is the free press makes more money by promoting the blind divide and people love the energy it creates.

  2. 2 sal
    April 22, 2009 at 05:31

    just a suggestion for a topic.recently there was a pageant in America where a controversial question was asked by one of the judges to Miss California,her response has created a debate everywhere i go on the internet.There are groups sprouting up on facebook ,some in favor some not.I wonder if you can ask if her response is about a right to free speech or is it hate speech?For example,if it was in a certain time ,place and instead of gays it was other minorities rights,would a response such as hers would be seen as ignorant or ok?

  3. 3 Ray Mason
    April 22, 2009 at 06:42

    God help South Africa after todays election if Jacob Zuma is voted as President.The ANC as it this Country is by all means a One Party State, and now they drop corruption charges against J.Z. just before the elections just to make sure he is President.This Country is run no differently to that of Mugabe’s Regime. The ANC do not listen to their own people, they just interested in Power
    Goodbye South Africa
    Hello another Zimbabwe

  4. 4 gary
    April 22, 2009 at 13:34

    I wish South Africa well on Election Day. I fervently pray the day remain free of violence. I exhort the ANC leadership to hold dear the human, political, and economic rights of every South African.

  5. 5 Patria Jessup.
    April 22, 2009 at 13:42

    The inevitable election of Jacob Zuma as the new President of South Africa is one of the greatest
    disasters that could possibly befall this country.
    A government under Zuma,an unscrupulous,power hungry
    charlatan and rapist who has been convicted of countless charges of fraud,corruption and racketeering
    can only have catastrophic consequences for all South
    Africans,regardless of race or creed.
    To those who are fortunate enough to have the opportunity of emigrating,pack your bags and leave
    now while you still have the chance.The future has never looked bleaker for this sad land.

  6. April 22, 2009 at 13:54

    There goes the ANC…
    For sure they will win this election, but it could well be their last. For there is no telling who wins the next one. A new generation of voters are around who wont vote for candidates on account of the number of years they spent on Robin Island or some other dungeons fighting apartheid- these voters will have to see candidates manifestoes. By the next election, those age old songs and dances favoured by Jacob Zuma may be out of fashion.
    I think it is good for South Africa, the days of multi-party democracy are here!

  7. April 22, 2009 at 14:17

    The ANC should be ashamed of itself. The poverty, the stench, the class division and yes, apartheid didn’t go away, but the razor wire Armed Response and paranoia moved in big style. It is a dangerous place, and nobody does anything about it. Except more razor wire.

    As for Zuma, not only corrupt, not only ignorant but amazingly arrogant.
    He should be hiding his head in shame, not standing for president.
    South Africa needs a statesman, not a buffoon.

    I feel very sad for South Africa, my experiences there and my connections with ‘local’ people’ showed me that there is a great deal of trust and faith that is being quite frankly abused.

    I left in a daze of depression and frustration at the way the majority of black South Africans are just treated like dirt, and despite trying to change my ‘back yard’, couldn’t cope with the vastness of the problem.
    I don’t see the ANC, especially with Zuma at the wheel of the Mercedes Benz, changing anything to the better. I see a very cynical take over of the country by an elite that keep a very low profile.
    Let’s all laugh at Zuma, but the people are going to continue to suffer, the gold, diamond and property dealers may get richer, but I hope they all have ‘quick escape’ bag packed. In my opinion they are going to need it.

  8. 8 Muthee in Nairobi
    April 22, 2009 at 15:13

    This week I have been talking to a couple of friends looking at the merits and demerits of J. Z, the likely president. From an outsider’s point of view, the opinion is that he is definitely the wrong man for any progressive society leave alone Africa’s biggest economy. But then as a Kenyan the underlying factor and the question emerges after reflection: If the South African poor masses love him{they who still claim the economic status quo never changed after apartheid} who am I to judge him?

    But I still hold that the ANC and J. Z are the wrong choices for South Africa, with 15 years of independence and nothing to show for it in terms of empowering black South Africans economically to the point that they would resort to attack other Africans, ostensibly because the other Africans have ‘stolen’ their economic opportunities. .

  9. April 22, 2009 at 15:27

    I forgot to add, I produced a band in South Africa, the lead vocalist/poet is now taking a break at Hare Uni (which I paid the fees for) to study Political Science (and good luck to him!), but you can see some tracks I have posted here:
    Pay attention to the lyrics.
    If you want to hear what the S.A. youth feel about it all, pay close attention!

  10. April 22, 2009 at 16:27

    Hi Rachel,
    Here the problem isn’t the ANC, it should be the president.
    when we talk of democracy we talk of majority, because the power belongs to the people, what the majority has chosen then should be the ultimate to all.

  11. 11 Bert
    April 22, 2009 at 17:03

    Certainly, the ANC will try to make the most of its image from back in its glory days. But governing intelligently and protesting are two entirely different activities.

    From the outside looking in, I don’t see a lot of difference between the downward spiral of Zimbabwe and that of South Africa led by the ANC. In fact, to me, having South Africa attempt to straighten out the Mugabe regime was a little bit like when Studebaker tried to keep Packard from failing. It’s very difficult to make one failing enterprise salvage another failing enterprise.

    • 12 osuagwu charles
      April 23, 2009 at 12:53

      South Africa cannot make the type of mistake Mugabe’s Zimbabwe made. To compare the young multiparty democracy of South Africa with Mugabe’s Zimbabwe a grave misjudgement.

  12. 13 deryck/trinidad
    April 22, 2009 at 17:06

    QUES 1:What do you think will be 3 SPECIFIC benefits to the people of South Africa if Jacob Zuma wins?
    QUES 2:What is Mr Zuma’s policy in the area of education? As I posit it is the only way to truly improve the lives of the poverty sticken.

  13. 14 viola
    April 22, 2009 at 17:34

    South Africa’s voters need to elect a different party simply to ensure the survival of alternatives to ANC. No party that remains in power for too long a time will be uncorrupted. The ANC is no exception to that apparently universal law of human behavior.


  14. 15 yahaya
    April 22, 2009 at 17:36

    I’m not even bothered about Mr Zuma becoming the next president of South Africa, rather, what worries me is that he might become the AU chairman one day and that i think will be the biggest shame for us in Africa. South Africans must be reasonable not to choose this man as thier leader.

  15. 16 saad , Jaffrabad Pakistan
    April 22, 2009 at 18:05

    Change is essential for democracy. One party state is dangerous. South Africa has to opt for change.

  16. 17 Vijay
    April 22, 2009 at 18:25

    If all the white South Africans left, would it make any difference to you?
    Can the Black newly empowered cadre go it alone? or
    Do you think South Africa would end up like Zimbabwe?

  17. April 22, 2009 at 18:25

    The fact that the africansof South Africa are voting for a party that has not

    distributed the wealth of that country is to the indigenous persons is not good.

    In Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein she illustrates how the former president was

    coopted unto thatcherism before he was president and by the time he was he

    was prepared to sign over , by seperating the financial aspects of the government

    from the political .

    Thusly affectively keeping the economic power in the hands of the apartheid

    proponents !

  18. 19 Vijay
    April 22, 2009 at 18:55

    In India there is a political party called the Indian National Congress(INC),they might have nice philosophy and rhetoric but in practice for 60 years after Independence stagnation,nepotism,chronyism,corruption and a culture of impunity and entitlement have persisted.
    Do you thinK the ANC will end up like the INC?

  19. April 22, 2009 at 19:04

    South Africa continues to suffer the consequences of the grave sin of empowering Black Gentiles over White Israelites. The sooner White South Africans and Rhodesians repent and are restored to power, lessons learned, the better!

  20. 21 kush
    April 22, 2009 at 19:05

    I think the whites in southafrica are taking all the wealth, The are stinking rich and don care about the black south africa as they call the (backes)
    Its time for the to leave the country to the Black south african. Go zuma kick this people out.

  21. 22 Tom K in Mpls
    April 22, 2009 at 19:10

    After listening to the on-air show, I am surprised and encouraged. There seemed to be two groups. There were those that were ‘old school’ ANC. The best they could say was ‘where were you when….’. Very meaningless. Most of the others saw that they needed more choices, not the ‘black & white’ choices ; ) that were being pushed on them.

    I wish the US people would push like that towards non-partisan politics. The SA future is looking good.

  22. 23 Kevin
    April 22, 2009 at 19:12

    I really hope that Cope and the DA can make good gains in today’s polls. South Africa needs an opposition. I would like to see the DA win in the Western Cape, and show the alternatives that an other party can do for South Africa.

    There is no doubt that the ANC will win today, and from the voices that I’ve heard through blogs, online, radio and television, it seems that many people are willing to give them one final chance of getting things right in power.

    After listening to an ANC Supporter today, he kept referring to Apartheid and 1994. South Africa have moved on, it has the potential to be one of the most amazing and diverse country’s in the world.
    South Africa needs a government that can tackle corruption, crime, poverty, education and unemployment.

    Kevin, Scotland.

  23. April 22, 2009 at 22:14

    To South Africa. Do not cave in to false Christians.

  24. 25 globalcomedy
    April 23, 2009 at 04:33

    I’ve never been to South Africa. But I talk to some South Africans here in the States. And I try to follow their media to have some idea of what’s going on.

    While I support Mandela and many ideals of the ANC, I’m not so sure about them winning. From what I hear, many of the same racial divides exist. Segregated neighborhoods, whites feeling like many blacks are treating them like rubbish to get back at them for apartheid. If the ANC does win, what changes would they continue to make? I don’t know.

    In a sense though, it’s sad that despite all of the progress, many barriers are still in place.

  25. 26 osuagwu charles
    April 23, 2009 at 12:43

    The credible and strong opposition to the ANC in South Africa would be very beneficial in the metamophosis of the Republic of South African into a strong multy party democracy. From now on the ANC would field strong and credible candidates who would address the nations teeting problems such as HIV Aids ,crimes as well as economic development so that it consolidates its role as African economic superpower and play the expected role in international affairs. The likes of Mbeki who denied the countries HIV Aids problem should not be allowed near the corridords of power.

  26. 27 Jim Newman
    April 23, 2009 at 14:33

    Hello again
    You beat me to it David. I would like to add though that countries that break with an evil past should insist that those who profited from the evil past should repay the debts that they incurred. Many countries who have liberated themselves from tyranical regimes come up against crippling debts to those countries who supported the tyranical regimes in the first place.
    This was the case with S. Africa and many S. American countries.
    One country that I will not mention should, instead of crying foul, pay compensation to the countries it has impoverished for so long.

  27. April 23, 2009 at 17:09

    I think this would be the greatest undoing of the South African people. Zuma will not add value to South Africa. He will be like Mugabe and the other African leaders. He has a history of wrong doings against his country’s constitution. He will be a democratic dictator, who would be acting out a script wriiten by the Western world. He prevented the Dalai Lama from visiting his country for peace talks and this greatly enraged the majority of South Aficans.

  28. April 23, 2009 at 17:16

    Was Aparthied a one race or one party?
    How soon we forget. Fear is the last thing S.A. poeple need.

  29. 30 Dennis Junior
    April 24, 2009 at 06:42

    Our question today is: Does the ANC deserve another term? (No)

    I think that after all of the troubles that the ANC has done in the past 10 years regarding the controversial issues of denying AIDS in South Africa and the HIGH Crime rate….No, they should not be able to have another term in office…

    PS: I am not a citizen of South Africa and/or Did I voted in the Elections…..

    ~Dennis Junior~

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