The poor performance of former liberation movements PAC and Azapo in this week’s elections may be an indication that the SA voter is moving away from ‘Struggle politics’ and finally confronting the cut-throat reality of bread and butter politics.
Even though the ANC appeared in complete control in all provinces by Friday afternoon, with a national average of 57.27%, indications were that it had lost a notable amount of support in the provinces.
However, the PAC of Azania and Azapo appear to be the biggest casualties of this shift from voting on the basis of a party’s track record during the liberation struggle.
The PAC had 27,699 votes while Azapo stood at 10,686 by 3pm on Friday. This combined figure is much lower than the new kids on the block – African Transformation Movement (ATM) – which stood at 67,178.
It could be argued that while the ANC also falls in the category of liberation movements with PAC and Azapo, it enjoys a huge advantage with voters old and young because as a ruling party it is in control of state resources.
Regardless of its flaws, an ANC in government presents a better chance of change in fortunes for an unemployed graduate or an indigent family reliant on state welfare, than an untried and untested political party that relies on criticism of the ruling party and its history.
A PAC shouting slogans from the 1960s and not articulating how it will bring about an end to the housing and unemployment challenges is as good as a preacher telling a hungry congregation to do nothing but keep their faith in a higher power.
Unless they undergo radical change and transformation, reposition and present themselves as modern movements capable of bringing about change in a modern democracy, the PAC and Azapo may be relegated to the archives of history and disappear forever from the active political scene.
This is because young voters and older people who’ve lived and suffered under apartheid no longer care to be reminded about the ugly past, but care instead about what the future holds and who is best to carry them there.