A recent article in the New York Times: Unfulfilled Promises Are Replacing The Prospects Of a Better Life For All
I cannot fault the article, neither can I fault the expectation for government & the ruling party to make it easier for the likes of Mr Sello, on one hand (to provide simple government support & zero tolerance for fraud and corruption, including dispensing patronage to close associates, friends and family), and, on the other, sophisticated government support that can, through shrewd public policy design (and implementation), thwart the organised looting of our primary sector resources by the multinationals in these sectors.
If sophisticated leaders in corporate, as well as multi-billionaire investors across the world, fear change, how much more is it for the multitudes of voters beholden to the ANC, for the inches of positive changes that happened since 1994? - Human beings are not good at dealing with change, and we see this in simple family or romantic relationships that may not be serving us well, but we remain attached, nevertheless. Learned helplessness creeps in, and the guilty party, unfortunately understands this, and they carry on plundering with oblivion. In this case, the ANC and alliance leadership 'know' that our people do not know better, and they know that the middle class does not have the 'balls' to start a 'new' party to drive into the new vacuumed space. We are paralysed, and it will take more than one generation to wake up from the slumber, dust ourselves up and drive self-serving leaders out of power. Just recently, one of my friends was saying that as we grow older, we stop looking beyond our small family units, in the hope that our national challenges will sort themselves out. There are very few people who are prepared to take up the proverbial arms and build something new, for there is a lot at stake, including personal safety, in some parts of South Africa. The end to the current state of affairs is not near, for we do not have untainted, young and old leaders from which we can choose, to make a national turnaround. The interconnectedness of the political elite means that whomever we choose within that pool, we are not going to be able to break the cycle of downward spiral. Business leadership has a hand in this, for they are smiling all the way to the bank, whilst the country is burning, literally and figuratively. As Mintzberg says (Governing Management, Managing Government), it is the concert of private, public, non-governmental and co-op leadership that makes democracy go round... Sadly, with us, all are from the same pool of selfish and egoistic leaders (government, politics and business), save for a few from the NGO movement & Co-ops, who lack the resources and the courage to challenge the status quo.
We need business leadership that has the vision of what a democracy in South Africa would look like, and then go and do what is required in their businesses first, to stop the exclusion of skilled and patriotic leaders who want this economy to thrive. They have to ensure that they go beyond the myopic quarterly results to monitor and evaluate leadership efficacy and to top it all, they have to reach out the NGO sector, to finance programmes that will increase the level of socio-political education of the 49m. This is the bridge that will create the union between narrow business interests and the wider societal agenda of driving both formal and informal education needed to shift South Africa in the right direction. A few millions of Rands, usually spent in 5 year terms, in the months preceding elections, sponsoring political parties, can be diverted to finance the bridge between business and society, through credible social programs.
Political leadership seems to be a passenger in their own political vehicles, just like a driver of a vehicle that has experienced a partial head-on collision with another. The dislodgement of the wheel assembly from the steering column renders both driver and steering wheel, powerless. No amount of logic, finger-pointing, or political reports is going to stem the tide of the challenges in this space.
If South Africa is to be better off than the average African state, after liberation, under the current system of things, it has to look to civil society for the answers (I include business leadership), for these are the ones who have a lot to lose. Political leadership has attained its political power in 1994, including access to resources, and therefore is not motivated to drive societal transformation with the same pre ’94 vigour.
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