In April, South Africans will go the polls in our country’s fifth democratic election since the end of Apartheid – and the election campaigns are already in full swing.
With a slowing economy, well-publicised incidents of government corruption, and the recent passing of former President Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s politics are highly charged this year – but how do you make sense of the political noise and keep a cool head while the politicians seem to be going crazy?
Here are some ideas to calm your mind and keep your focus in the coming months.
SA politics – is it worth following the news stories?
People are all different, and although some of us may not even be interested in politics the fact remains that decisions taken by politicians affect our lives every day. For this reason, it’s important to separate propaganda and campaign promises from reality – here are some points to keep in mind:
- Politicians make a lot of promises. No matter who you vote for, you’re likely to hear a lot of grand-sounding promises and plans from your candidate – take them with a pinch of salt and you won’t end up disappointed.
- Focus on legislation, not propaganda. No matter what a politician says during campaign time, the biggest impact on your life and business comes from new laws that are planned – keep track of new legislation that might affect your business. For more information on this, watch the business press or contact your chamber of commerce for a detailed update.
- Voting is never a waste of time. Take the time to go out and vote, no matter which party you support. Beside the fact that voting day is a public holiday, you’ll be doing your duty as a citizen and helping to make South Africa a better place – as a young democracy, our country needs citizens who are motivated and involved in public life.
Are the national elections the most important event of the year?
As a businessperson, you may think the elections will drastically change things – but is this really the case? Unless there is a huge change of government, things are likely to carry on more or less the same as they were for the time being. Sometimes what happens at local level – such as your city or municipal government – has a bigger impact on your business, and local government elections only take place in 2016.