Prisoners of fear – the Alma ANC community

Prisoners of fear - the Alma ANC community - Image Creative Commons License

There are allegations of improper conduct, intimidation and corruption happening in the Alma farming community. Alma is situated between Modimolle and Vaalwater, Limpopo and is under the Modimolle Municipality. Alma is currently governed by the African National Congress (ANC).

The town of Alma has an extremely high unemployment and poverty level, coupled with a high illiteracy rate. The people that do work are employed by farmers, some on a permanent basis and others as seasonal works. Most of the residents live below the breadline.

It is not surprising that Alma is also one of the towns that lack essential services, proper housing, electricity, and water. There are hundreds of cities throughout South Africa that suffer the same consequences of no service deliveries. Houses in Alma are often built near a river and of course during rain seasons causes flooding.

At a recent meeting, the ANC ward councilor appeared to have an aggressive personality claiming that she has power. Her power gave her the authority to employ people and power to dismiss people. There are rumors that the individuals who do have work must give the ANC ward councilor half of their salaries to retain their jobs.

Certain other topics were discussed, aid for orphans, poor households, and the government projects. One of the projects is the food parcels given to the low-income families. It is also the responsibility of the ward councilor to hand out these food packages. However, it is alleged that she does not do so but gives to family, friends, and acquaintances.

During the meeting, it was discovered that the residents of Alma are intimidated. If people support other political parties and not the ruling ANC, they are told they will lose their jobs, never be employed again. These residents are scared and often do not attend public meetings; they dare not wear another political party’s shirt or speak up for fear of being ostracized.

If the corruption, intimidation, and harassment continue in Alma, it can be assumed that there are plenty of little towns around South Africa where people are living as prisoners of fear. The municipal elections are to be held in August and with so little time left, how can democracy win.

While it is harsh to keep people intimidated and uneducated for the sake of remaining in power, it is even worse to abuse people and keep them desperate. The people of Alma have no dignity; they are pawns in the ANC Empire and all for the sake of the few elite. How can a democratic government exploit human beings?

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