Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Interesting moves by Jiyane
Whilst the odds are naturally stacked up against any new opposition party entering the political fray in south Africa, we are starting to see some interesting moves. After being ignominiously booted out of the IFP, Ziba Jiyane recently started the National Democratic Convention as an opposition party, with which no one patently expects him to have much success.

The ANC is simply too strong a force to be bothered by opposition parties, especially small ones, as Patricia de Lille has discovered. All of these parties are merely biding their time until the "liberation party" aura falls from the ANC, and are living off the political scraps falling from the tri-partite alliance's table.

However, Jiyane is one of the few that at this stage is trying to create a multicultural platform. The Cape Times reports that Jiyane's party has contacted former president FW De Klerk for party support. Jiyane has to reach out beyond his traditional power base in KZN, and gaining tacit or vocal support from De Klerk will offer inroads into coloured votes in the Cape and white votes around the country. Whether this will prove successful is highly unlikely for Jiyane in the short-term, but it does offer the way forward for opposition parties to gather a broad voter platform as opposed to the niche currently being exploited by most smaller opposition parties. Only in this way will opposition parties get away from traditional cultural lines and move toward issues-based voting, which is the only method for them to have a reasonable growth against ANC domination.