The Cape Town model, state violence and military urbanism
Christopher McMichael, Open Democracy, 5 January 2012
Lead by the pugnacious Helen Zille, the Democratic Alliance is South Africa’s official opposition party and the governing party of the Western Cape, the only one of nine national provinces not under the control of the ruling ANC. Despite recent successes the party has failed to win substantial support among South Africa’s black majority, due to a widespread perception that, notwithstanding its meretricious rhetoric of an ‘ Open Society’, the party remains a bastion of white privilege. Further scepticism has been created by the parties’ aggressively neoliberal policies which propose to reduce the country’s already partial post-apartheid social welfare system . However, the DA is hoping that the increasingly overt internecine fighting with the ANC will alter South Africa’s political landscape to give it a credible chance of becoming the ruling party by the end of the decade. With the ANC beset by corruption scandals, a growing intolerance for political dissent and the seeming inability to robustly tackle growing levels of social inequality, the DA is attempting to position itself as a pragmatic and efficient government in waiting.