Analysis  >  Friday Briefing: The end of the broad-church ANC?

Friday Briefing

'Quantity easing' into the weekend

Another week, another confusing, contradicting and damaging message from the ANC government. 

In this latest instalment of "Whose ANC is it anyway?" secretary general Ace Magashule emerged from the party's NEC lekgotla to tell South Africans that the party will be pushing a change to the SA Reserve Bank's mandate and implementing 'quantity easing' to boost the economy. The rand took a nosedive. The ANC's economic head Enoch Godongwana hastily denied that such a decision was ever taken. Finance minister and former governor of the SARB Tito Mboweni took to social media to express his "exasperation" at the "continued attacks and obsession" with the bank. 

Why did Magashule misrepresent the NEC meeting's decision regarding the SARB? How serious is his faction in the ANC about changing the bank's mandate, or is it another desperate attempt to stick it to Ramaphosa's reform agenda? As News24 columnist Mpumelelo Mkhabela put it, "Having failed to diagnose the problem, Ace Magashule rhetorically subjected the economy to the kind of treatment expected of a doctor who had neither diagnosed the patient's ailment nor had the capacity to."

In Friday Briefing this week, News24 assistant editor for in-depth news Pieter du Toit takes a critical look at whether the ANC as a broad church of society's interests still exists. Political analyst William Gumede explains how power blocs have been rearranged in the ANC and how this complicates President Cyril Ramaphosa's job. And Wits professor Jannie Rossouw takes a look at how perceived policy uncertainty influences the economy.

If you want to make sense of the chaos, keep reading.

News24 Opinions Editor

Alet Janse van Rensburg


The ANC's 'broad church': A clearing house for patronage networks and looters

Pieter du Toit

The ANC used to pride itself on being a "broad church", a place where people of different persuasions, convictions and orientations could come together and thrash out unity and compromise. But Ace Magashule’s statement this week about the SA Reserve Bank shows that has changed. 


William Gumede

The ANC is now broadly divided into two almost formal, separate and contesting parties: the ANC of President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC of former president Jacob Zuma. But within these two are almost separate ANC provincial and city power blocs, which almost independently, align tactically with either the Ramaphosa or Zuma ANC, depending on their interests.



Who governs South Africa while policy chaos reigns?

Jannie Rossouw

Under the stewardship of Ace Magashule the ANC as majority party wants to expand the SARB's mandate to include aspects such as economic growth and the eradication of unemployment. Adoption of Magashule's suggestion will take South Africa back to the bad old 1980s of the previous century. In the 1980s, the SARB was subservient to the governing National Party.




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