Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

DA's Opportunism
The DA's brand of opportunistic politics is starting to become an irritation, and in my view, a damaging strategy. The latest non-issue around a SA Tourism poster at the airport is a case in point. The story can be read here, but basically revolves around a copy line that states "40 million people, 9 indigenous languages and not a single word for stranger." The point is that you have to read the advertisement to realise it's not about an offensive attack on English and Afrikaans, it's simply the fact that English and Afrikaans do have a word for "stranger", whilst the African indigenous languages don't. The DA's attack on a campaign that has been running for 18 months already smacks of the political opportunism that has been creeping into their party strategy for the past five years and only damages their reputation as a political party.

In this particular case, the DA is trying to woo the Afrikaner voter by being a 'champion' for their cause, but this only goes to further their perception as a white party. It's no wonder the only party that supported them is the far-right Freedom Front.

This does nothing to either grow a perception that they are a South African party for all its people, or that they are a viable party to govern this country at some stage in the future. The DA's opportunism is alienating vast segments of the country's voters, and it is bewildering to me how they continue to push these strategies.