Ideas must trump race for democracy to survive

DA leader Helen Zille neatly sums up the underlying challenge to the sustainability of South Africa’s democracy in “SA Today”, her weekly newsletter:

Breaking the racial logjam is essential for democracy in South Africa to survive. If elections are always a racial census, one party will always be in power. This has been the root cause of the ‘failed state’ phenomenon on our continent. Knowing they won’t ever be voted out of office is what leads politicians to abuse power and to steal people’s money in an ever-worsening spiral of corruption. They have the freedom to loot with freedom from accountability.

The greatest political challenge we have in South Africa is to ensure that voters’ choices are not based on race, but on alternative policy choices for the future. A shift closer to this ideal is in everyone’s interest, because unless we achieve it, the chances are great that we will also end up as a failed state.

Read the rest of Zille’s piece here.

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