Three terrible local election campaigns
Three dangerous ideas are circulating in the local election campaigns, all harmful to South African interests: the anti-vaccination campaign, the anti-immigrant campaign and the Western Cape secession campaign.
Currently, all three campaigns are led by fringe parties. Officially, neither of the two major parties supports any of this. But there are constituencies within the ANC that are sympathetic to anti-vaccination and anti-immigrant ideologies, and there are elements in the DA sympathetic to the three.
It is in all of our interests that as many people as possible in the country get vaccinated against Covid. While vaccination is not a guarantee against infection, disease, hospitalization, or death, like a seat belt, it does reduce the risk of all of these. But unlike a seat belt, getting the vaccine also protects people you come into contact with. That is why all adults have a responsibility to get the vaccine.
It’s ironic that ACDP, a party that opposes women’s right to terminate pregnancy and same-sex marriage, is posting election posters saying, “Constitutional Right to Choose,” “Stop Medical Tyranny,” ” Bodily integrity âandâ Never with forced vaccinations â.
Also, it is a campaign that makes no sense for this election. First, no political party to our knowledge has come out in favor of compulsory vaccination. Second, it is not a matter of local government. Third, political parties have no say in whether organizations like UCT or Discovery Health can institute immunization mandates; at the end of the day, the courts will decide.
The campaign is simply fueling anti-vaccination sentiment.
It is disturbing that there are South Africans of all races and social classes who tend to unite around a single prejudice: hatred of foreigners, especially people from other African countries, from the Pakistan and Bangladesh. This campaign is defended by ActionSA and the Patriotic Alliance.
We have often argued for the benefits of immigration. But anyway, this horse ran away. Almost three million immigrants live in South Africa. They’re not going anywhere. They are here to stay.
Immigrant communities are increasingly better organized and more willing to show their power in response to xenophobia. Children of immigrants are likely to organize themselves politically even better and more fiercely than their parents against hatred.
It is time for everyone to make peace with immigration and find ways to integrate immigrants into South African life.
Independence of the Western Cape
In terms of important criteria, the municipalities of the Western Cape are the best managed in the country. But that shouldn’t fuel the Cape Exit campaign (which has now been endorsed by Freedom Front Plus). This campaign is not only strange, but extremely dangerous – and veiled racism. He deliberately ignores the close ties, through family and property, that many Cape Towns have with the Eastern Cape.
The history of escape attempts is tragic. Consider the southern states of the United States in 1861, the Yugoslav republics in the 1990s, and Chechnya in 1994.
These three terrible campaigns are still on the sidelines, but they must be strongly condemned because there is a real danger that they will find the support of the traditional political parties. DM
First published by GroundUp.