Only the ANC can move SA forward

2014-04-22 10:00

Not long ago, the secretary-general of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe, addressed a gathering on 20 years of democracy at the Regenesys Business School.

While telling the good story of ANC delivery, he spoke about a study conducted in 2012 by a Professor Steinberg from Oxford University.

It centred on why South Africans continued to vote for the ANC.

After speaking to a number of South Africans, Professor Steinberg came to the conclusion that South Africans vote for the ANC not because they hear or read about progress and development in South Africa, but because they live it daily.

Many people, including the media and opposition parties, will have us believe that the upcoming general elections are about everything that is negative in South Africa, instead of the real progress made and residual challenges that still affect our people daily.

From the Freedom Charter to the RDP and now the NDP, the ANC has consistently and steadily delivered on the aspirations of South Africans.

It is the bold and decisive policies of the ANC that have changed the racial composition of privilege in South Africa.

Many people?–?particularly young people who were born middle class and may not have suffered the hardships of apartheid and devastating poverty?–?will be among the most vocal by downplaying the strides made by the ANC government in the past 20 years.

No other country in the world has done more than South Africa under the ANC government to give dignity to its people through housing and security of tenure.

It is easy for people to preoccupy themselves with unending discussions on the money spent at the private residence of the president.

This is being done while they live in a stable and peaceful democracy that guarantees freedom of expression, and has strong institutions that investigate even the highest office in the land.

The attainment of our freedom in 1994 was not a destination, but the start of a journey to building the type of society we want to live in.

Ours is a journey towards normality and modernity. It is a journey that will have its hurdles and challenges along the way.

Present-day South Africa and the challenges confronting it cannot be reduced to sound bites and headlines, ignoring the very real and far-reaching progress that our country has made.

Where there are challenges, we must confront them. In the process, we should not negate the many significant steps we have taken towards building the type of society envisioned in the Freedom Charter. We must take the long view that reaffirms that South Africa is a much better place today than it was in 1994.

It is a fact known by millions that the ANC is the only organisation with the capacity, commitment and track record to create a better life for all. As we do that, we will make mistakes, we will falter. Where we do, we do not deviate from the historical mission. We self-correct and continue to move South Africa forward.

Sangoni-Khawe is the ANC’s national media liaison officer

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