Bourgeois democracy offers little hope for the country's poor

Women do laundry in Setjwetla informal settlement in Alexandra amid the Covid-19 pandemic
Women do laundry in Setjwetla informal settlement in Alexandra amid the Covid-19 pandemic
Image: Thulani Mbele

The rising cost of living will thrust the poor into a poverty trap. Moreover, the public transport system is a shambles and effectively compounded by a dilapidated rail service, impacting severely on the lives of the working class.

Ethically deficient politicians and unbridled corruption in government remain the order of the day. The naked effect of this is the sharpest contradictions affecting black people in an unchanged capitalist society. It’s a matter of fact that white privilege insulates colonial relations in some centres of power from transformation by embracing bourgeois democracy and courting the black political elite to cultivate enduring influence.

This brings to mind a pamphlet written by Joe Slovo, titled “The SA Working Class and the National Democratic Revolution” (1988). Slovo articulates the principal task of the national liberation struggle, reinforcing our revolutionary course to capture the state and transform it into a government of the people.

At the centre is the capture of the commanding heights of the economy to accord the poor a desirable socio-economic status. Put simply, our historic struggle needs less of bourgeois influence enabled by those who joined the movement to feather their nests.

Needless to say the self-serving interests of the elite group converged to bankroll a trust-funded presidential campaign that is distinctly alien to the intraparty succession tradition of our movement. Yet the group could not use such power to ensure that academically deserving students are relieved of the burden placed on their education. No-one is ashamed of the inherited impoverishment of the black majority, who are largely excluded from enjoying socio-economic benefits of the new dispensation.

Even those raised by a village without water were hoodwinked by fraternisation to donate, away from public scrutiny. These are challenges that we shall continue to grapple with in the coming years.

• Morgan Phaahla, Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni

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