By BO Staff Writer
The small political party, African Independent Congress (AIC), is setting a good example of how small parties can use their votes to advance the interests of their voters. The AIC has as its main objective the incorporation of Matatiele back to KwaZulu-Natal. The party loses no chance to push for this objective. In the August local government elections, the AIC went into a conditional coalition with the African National Congress (ANC), thereby saving the Ekhuruleni metro from falling into the hands of the white racist party – the Democratic Alliance (DA).
The condition for its co-operation with the ANC was the incorporation of Matatiele into KwaZulu Natal and out of the Eastern Cape. The AIC’s demand showed clearly that local government votes could be used to change national policy. The AIC had given the ANC clear deadlines to deliver. Now, the party is putting pressure on the ANC to cooperate or it will pull out of the coalition and thereby lead to a possible take over of the Ekhuruleni and Rustenburg municipalities by other parties. This again shows that a strategic use of the vote can force the ruling party to change policy because the ANC had rejected many times before to incorporate Matatiele into KZN, but now has no choice but to deliver on the promise or risk losing the metro.
How the AIC has used its votes strategically is in total contrast to how the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has sold out its black voters. The EFF refused to enter into a demand-driven coalition with the ANC. Rather, it gave its votes to the DA for free. This has led to many accusing Julius Malema of taking their votes and giving them to whites. Many observers say the EFF was carrying out the instructions of imperialists such as Lord Robin Renwick and satisfying white monopoly capitalists like Johann Rupert.
The AIC is using its small vote to punch above its weight for its voters. The success of the AIC exposes the lie that the ANC can’t be pushed to change policy. After the August elections, leader of Black First Land First (BLF) Andile Mngxitama wrote an open letter to Julius Malema begging him not to give black voters’ votes to the racist DA, but rather give them to the ANC on clear demands such as land expropriation without compensation, nationalisation of banks and mines, a living wage, reparations for Marikana and free education. The ANC had been willing to engage on all these conditions. The EFF collapsed the negotiations with the ANC by demanding that President Zuma resign. They had to be unreasonable to justify giving their votes to the DA as per the wishes of London.
The AIC must be commended for being principled and truthful to its voters. Imagine if the ANC had been put under pressure for land and radical change of the economy? EFF could have done this, but London wouldn’t allow it. Now the AIC shows how it can be done.