Five victories for the South African citizen in 2021

South Africa has experienced many challenges in 2021. From poor political leadership right through to electricity-supply challenges at Eskom. The fact that SA continues to endure, despite these challenges, is a sign that it has the potential to succeed.

Like 2020, this has been a challenging year. The Covid-19 pandemic continued to spread around the world, prompting governments and big business to continue exploiting fear among the citizens. For example, when a new variant of Covid-19 was discovered in South Africa, the British government instituted an unnecessary travel ban.

Even though this year has been fraught with difficulties, there were some victories for the citizens of South Africa. These victories show that there is still hope for the future of our beautiful country. This should inspire you to believe in the future of the country and to contribute to realising it.

  1. Unconstitutional lockdown

In June 2020, the High Court of Pretoria ruled that lockdown level 3 and 4 were “unconstitutional” and “invalid”. This came after the government had implemented harsh lockdown restrictions that were based on clumsy and confusing reasoning. This ruling meant that the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs was forced to make amendments to the regulations and acknowledge the freedom of South Africans. The significance of this victory was that it confirmed the rule of law, not the arbitrary will of politicians.

  1. Elections were not postponed

In August 2021, the ANC shamelessly said that it supported the IEC’s call to postpone the local government elections. The party openly stated this in the media, seemingly hoping that it would succeed in prolonging its power in local governments across the country. On 3 September, however, the Constitutional Court made a ruling that would stop this idea in its tracks. The ruling held that the elections had to take place between 27 October and 1 November.

  1. The ANC’s support was reduced in the elections

One of the major victories for South Africa this year was reducing the ANC’s electoral support. The party that once had majorities in most of South Africa’s metro municipalities was now sitting below 40 percent in all of the country’s major cities. In terms of the party’s national polling, the ANC was reduced to below 50%. What this signals is that the era of one-party rule has come to an end in South Africa. Elections will now become more competitive as parties vie for the support of critical, independent voters.

  1. The Expropriation Bill was said to be counter to the Constitution

Parliament’s lawyers, who work in the Constitutional and Legal Services Office, acknowledged that Expropriation without Compensation goes against the basic structure of the Constitution. What this means is that the bill that would destroy the concept of private property as it is seen as being at odds with the principles that underlie the Constitution. This should be seen as a victory because it gives civil society groups that oppose expropriation another valid point to make in their arguments against this bill. As has been explained, expropriation without compensation would empower the government to claim property belonging to private individuals.

  1. Government is finally allowing municipalities to generate their own electricity

Load-shedding has become a serious problem in South Africa, costing the economy R500 million a day per stage. This is bad news for the country, as it means that poor infrastructure is making the economy poorer. Fortunately, the government is finally allowing municipalities to generate their own electricity. Some municipalities in the Western Cape, such as Stellenbosch, are already implementing plans to become independent from Eskom. In the future, load-shedding could become a thing of the past, as municipalities use other sources of electricity

South Africa has experienced many challenges over the past few  months, ranging from poor leadership in politics to electricity-supply challenges at Eskom. The fact that our country has continued to endure, despite these challenges, is a sign that it has the potential to succeed. The key actions that South Africans need to take are those that support one another against the government using its power to abuse citizens. Each accumulating victory for the South African people builds momentum that will benefit the country in the long haul.



Cover image source available here.