What happens in South Africa in a week could keep foreign media occupied for a year, such is the pace and ferocity of events in this topsy-turvy place we call Mzansi. So, it should come as no surprise that, in five years’ time, we could find ourselves in a somewhat different country.
The numbers being constantly rolled out at the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s results centre has made for fascinating viewing as this diverse land expresses its will through the ballot box. As we keenly watch the political jigsaw taking shape, the story that’s been bubbling underneath is that of the significant advances made by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF+).
Whereas the ANC and Democratic Alliance largely represent centre-left and centre-right positions respectively, the EFF and FF+ offer the extremities of our political landscape. Both parties have enjoyed an upward trajectory over the years, offering a distinctly polar-opposite vision for our future. Although it deepens our democracy to see this ever-more-equitable division of power, it also suggests that a growing mass of South Africans are moving further from each other. We should all guard against diversity turning to divisiveness.