Who should drive political and economic discourse?

10 Jun

Picture appropriated from

If there is one thing that I pride myself with as a South African citizen is the intellectual rigour that many journalist and columnist posses. Their duty is inspired by the freedom of expression, speech and of press as it is confirmed in The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Section 16 (1) (a), which do not of course extend to incitement of imminent violence, propaganda for war and incitement to racial hatred amongst other things. These news agents are the one who ensures that ordinary citizens such as I receive information and news that is fair, accurate and free of bias.

No one dare challenge me when I say that journalist like Ferrial Haffegee, Justice Malala, Max Du Preez, and many others carry out their duties with distinction. Their work is well researched, insightful,groundbreaking and they ensure that they diffuse every piece of information they consider to be of public interest – and no, this does not extend to tabloid journalism. Their piece of work evokes public debates, as it was the case with “The Spear”. However, the only problem I have with journalists is that they seem to drive a political and economic discourse in this country. They seem to have exclusive right and access to major newspapers spaces to voice out their disgruntled opinions – which I highly respect by the way.

Why do I seem to have a deep rooted problem with this? If I, from an impoverished village outside Pretoria, have an opinion to raise about my poor quality of education, inadequate access to basic services, poverty and unemployment, where and how do I voice my opinion in mainstream media? Will Mondli Makhanya accept or even better publish my letter in the newspaper in which he is an editor?

Who must drive political and economic discourse in this country? Should it be, Khaya Dlanga,Sentletse Diakanyo or the so called established columnist? Have you realised that the influence that the so called established columnist such Dlanga and Co. commands drives political discourse in this country. They are so influential on the social media spaces that they have their own column in which they offer readers what is conveyed to them as established truth, that you dare not challenge.

I have a fundamental problem with that. I am of the opinion that these major media houses should introduce a column titled something to the effect of “In my hoodie” in which young people from far flung rural areas will be able to convey and communicate their stories with a hope that those stories eventually drive a political and economic discourse in the direction sought by the writer.

A friend of mine, Seth Motswaledi updated his status on Facebook and he wrote “We are living in a country infested with propaganda to win political battles. We have the DA which out of all, uses media to misrepresent the current state of our country, and then you have the ANC that use poverty and apartheid to win. What we need is totally not this!!!

I do not know the extent of truth enshrined in the status posted by my friend on facebook. The validity of the premise submitted by Seth can be brushed aside as “unwarranted and baseless claims!”. After few minutes, the very same status was inundated with comments and the poor guy was accused of all sorts of irrationality. What was the man trying to do was to push the envelope, drive the political discourse and provoke debates amongst his facebook ninja’s. Judging from afar, this is an assignment that he (Seth) achieved with distinction. I hope he remained unshaken.

All in all, my point is that the only people who can drive political or economic discourse in this country are young lion and lioness who despite their socio-economic hardships continue to traverse life hopefully even if is difficult to do so.

My premise was further strengthened by one of the commentators on the status who wrote -to quote him verbatim – “...It can only be the masses that will drive discourse of any sort in this country!

Let’s go cadres!!!


This post does not in anyway reflect my political viewpoints.


Posted by on June 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


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8 responses to “Who should drive political and economic discourse?

  1. Mokoena Nkosinathi Percy

    June 10, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Firstly I have to say that I miss your writings..Thanks for writing again in these hard times especially for a student.

    Your letter reminded me lot of letters I inscribed when I was still in high that were never published and I think were never even read. Its true that our political discourse is driven by those established writers. Beside that, if we look at what is trendy in our media, it is always contended by the same people. You know one of Tutor once said in a tut session “Our media will give you what they think is good for you and what will sell” not what we need to hear. If I recall correctly, former President Thabo Mbeki Introduced “Imbizo” in order to try and encourage Public Participation deep from rural areas. Such mandates was successful until he was “recalled”. However, the continuation is very fuzzy.

    • Dumi-rocks

      June 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      The problem with our government is that something started by another person is never continued if new persons take over. What Happened to Asgisa and JIPSA. They died a quiet death.

      I think your tutor was right when he said SA media gives what will sell rather than what is newsworthy!!!

      • Milady

        June 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

        jep……a huge fat headline which is assumed “attractive and attention grabbing”will sell but facts and real stuff are ignored…

      • Dumi-rocks

        July 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm

        Engagement is more important than just commenting for peanuts sake. I would value your contribution even more if you did mention the facts ignored or if you pointed out the flaws in my argument.

        I value your comment for what it is worth…

  2. Bafedile Mafologele

    June 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    I am dead sure you knew I was going to respond. Where politics are concerned, I am going to respond. As always you raise very valid points and your questions need to be answered. I agree with your sentiments 100%, it is unjust!!!!! Excuse the exclamation marks.

    Ntate Dumisani the problem was raised in animal farm and it will continue for decades to come and that is the principle of equal animals whilst some are more equal than others. Unfortunately the majority only drive the political and economical discourse once every 5 years which is not enough.

    Our newspapers and whatever form of media have become mediums for people to advance their narrow agendas without considering the impact it has on the majority. My biggest problem with these so called commentators is their arrogance and sudden belief that they are gods. You dare challenge them, they unleash Mdluli type of tendencies on you. It is another form of dictatorship.

    But let us return to Farrial, Malala, Max and the likes. It is my personal opinion that they are the mouthpiece of the opposition but pretend to be impartial. They pretend to be doing it for the country at large and I ask, why is it that the Western Cape negativities do not receive the same amount of attention and publicity as the so called “eff” ups of the ANC? Why is it that the twitterazzi see it fit to criticize the ANC at every juncture but do not do the same to the DA?

    In conclusion morena, a sewage is meant to take in as much kaak as it can and unfortunately the majority of our people have become “sewages”. Our duty is to consume as much of the written kaak as possible in the hope that one day we will turn against our movement. When you have no power, no money and are barely surviving, you have no time to question commentators, you are more worried about where your next meal will come from.

    Alutta continua…We will not forget that if it was not for the movement, we would not have had the privilege to attend the Stellenboschs and UCT’s of this world. They can say whatever they want, but my cross still goes next to the ANC. As I say they can say whatever they want, I am reminded of Mariah Carey song…My youth days when I used to dedicate songs and thought I knew love.

    Until next time…I also write what I like, sorry I mean comment however I like

    • Dumi-rocks

      June 13, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      You are very right when you say that the mentioned journos are mouth-piece of the opposition party. Once upon a time Mr Malala used to adorn the DA website as a video guest type of a thing there. The question that came to my mind was :Isn’t it this man suppose to impartial?”. But I guess you can buy the objectivity of these people if your wallet allows, and that’s what is happening with the DA.

      My problem with mainstream media is that a waif is never given a chance to express his views?

      Phambili siyaya, imuva kuphethe iDA!!!

  3. Kgomotso Motaung

    June 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I hope our people will realize that action is better than words.we are the most talkative nation in the is to short for 3 hour empty speeches.more action less yarayara.

    • Dumi-rocks

      June 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      What action should be taken?


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