Fetching The Rainbow From Behind The CloudsWritten by Ryan Swano
Our attention was grabbed when we first heard of a new political party that had a very specific policy regarding the promotion of South African arts and specifically advocating an enforced local content quota for music played on radio. The policy even outlines how promoting local arts not only benefits artists but the national economy as a whole.
A sizeable portion of our membership have an interest in the local music industry so bruinou.com just had to take a closer look whether the Rainbow People's Party (RPP) was specifically aimed at musicians and artists, which of course would just be a useless gimmick, or whether this is a party serious about making an impact in 2014
We caught up with RPP founder Kenni Gambo to give us an idea of what the party was all about, other than advocating a policy that was beneficial to the music industry. A political party that is successful can surely not just focus on such a narrow interest group.
Getting closer to the 2014 general elections, we will of course see a proliferation of new political parties and of course it will be interesting to see how in terms of structures and policies all the newcomers compare to the two main parties, the DA and the ANC as well as how they compare to other parties who have so far failed to make a meaningful impact on election results. What will also be of interest, especially in the Western Cape, but also on a national level, is how they all will vie for the elusive Coloured vote.
We wanted to ascertain if the RPP is serious about being more than an 'also-ran' come 2014. Asked for just an outline of their policies, it became apparent that the party has a comprehensive set of well-developed policies, some which might not be completely agreeable to everyone, but there is a clear sense that they have at least thought each one through thoroughly.
One could naturally argue that the ruling party as well as the opposition, and even some of the not-so-successful parties also all have well-structured policies on every given issue.
Bruinou.com asked Kenni how the newly formed Rainbow People's Party of which he is at the helm, is any different to the existing parties and all of the other newcomers we will see in the next few months.
"Unlike other new parties or existing parties, the RPP was not started by careerist politicians but by people who like myself have long been involved in community work, NGO's and advocacy groups. We have realised that politicians have lost complete touch with what people on the ground want and need from them" said Kenni.
"The RPP is not an anti-anyone entity (or an offshoot of anything), but a post ANC body which seeks to take SA to the greatness it must be in order to be a major world player. The liberation stage was gained, it is time to move to the next phase and I believe firmly that a new dynamic force like this one, is best suited and baggage free, to accomplish this lofty goal."
The party seems to focus on most key national issues in terms of their policies but they also seem to be targeting the Coloured vote, especially in the Western Cape. We asked Kenni what is it about the the RPP that would specifically appeal to Coloured voters.
"The reason that the RPP would appeal to a very large percentage of Coloured people is because Coloured voters are tired of being voting fodder for the two major parties but they also do not want to support narrow-minded regional parties. They want issues that specifically affect them to be addressed with real earnest but not that they be addressed by a party that is narrowly focussed on Coloureds only. Coloureds do indeed want to see themselves as part of the nation and that is why parties that are established specifically as 'Coloured Parties' do not garner any major support. The RPP though having many Coloureds as founding members, is able to strike that balance."
Pressed on whether this isn’t then essentially just another aspiring Coloured interest party that wants a piece of the pie, Kenni retorted that the RPP has been recruiting members and setting up branches all over the country since late last year and that members and supporters come from all the different population groups and across different socio-economic levels but has indeed found a special resonance with activists from within the Coloured community though it is not specifically aimed at Coloureds.
The RPP is in the process of registering with the IEC. Below are some video presentations of Mr Gambo stating the RPP's visions and intentions.
Bruinou.com will watch with interest how the RPP as well as other new parties go about their attempts to garner support as we head towards the 2014 general elections.
Disclaimer: Bruinou.com and our writers in no way endorse any specific political party. Our aim is to make our readers aware of new developments and options on the party-political front and not to specifically influence their democratic choices. It is for you dear reader to find out more, equip yourself with knowledge, weigh your options and make informed choices. - Editor