No amount of champagne, cakes or booze-fuelled parties can mask the reality of the what the ANC has become.
Sprinkles late. More clouds than sun. Cool.
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The ANC's obsession
with being a "revolutionary party" and a liberation movement, 24
years after becoming the government has become one of its biggest handicaps.
This is distracting it from its real task of being an efficient, modern
political party governing an open democracy and a sophisticated economy.
still address each other as "comrade"; the party still has dreams of
a "national democratic revolution" (NDR); still depicts the black
majority as the oppressed victims of a tiny white minority; still sings Umkhonto
we Sizwe songs from more than decades ago; and still exclaims "Amandla
awethu!", power to the people, at every occasion.
in the party and its government who have stolen or wasted billions of rand and
abused their power over the last decade are no comrades of any revolution. They
are simply greedy and corrupt parasites sucking the blood of the people.
The NDR was
a mirage of utopian socialism from the days when the ANC was still in a
communist haze in exile. It was fortunately dumped in the rubbish bin after
1994, at least in practice, and replaced with a pragmatic concept of a mixed,
broadly market-based economy.
the commanding heights of the economy" is the antithesis of economic
policy since 1994, and yet there remains a nostalgic yearning for these
outdated concepts in public speeches and writings – despite the fact that most
public figures associated with the ANC are living like hard-core capitalists.
slogan is sounding phonier by the day and is mostly used at ANC rallies to
restore the order and get people to listen. Political power is squarely in the
hands of black South Africans and no-one can or will change that. The parroting
of the rhetoric of the oppressed black American minority is contributing to a
sense of powerlessness.
is, though, that most black South Africans are still much poorer than most
white South Africans and have a miniscule share in the economy. This is the
most crucial issue facing this nation in 2018. It is a dangerous state of
affairs that is now threatening our very stability.
obsolete, emotional slogans and nostalgic rhetoric will do nothing to
fundamentally change this. On the contrary. Clean and efficient governance,
much lower levels of corruption, better management on all levels of government
and the bureaucracy and realistic and innovative economic policies, radical
ones where needed, are the only way to turn this around.
longer controversial to argue that there has been far too little enthusiasm for
transformation among white people since 1994. But, as researchers have shown
over and over, even seizing most of white people's assets and taxing them to
death would not have made a significant difference to the quality of life of
the black majority because of the way the country and the economy have been
managed the last decade.
stark and very uncomfortable reality: If the ANC had governed the country ably
since 1994 with a singular purpose to rebuild this society on the ashes of
apartheid, to correct the imbalances of the past, to empower the disempowered,
to grow the economy and thereby create jobs and wealth, the levels of poverty
and inequality would have been significantly lower than they are now.
could have been done with the thousands of billions of rand stolen or wasted by
corruption, state capture, gross mismanagement and on vanity projects.
development the state-owned enterprises could have achieved – like China and
Singapore – if they hadn't been captured by the corrupt and powered into the
where we could have been if we had given our youth proper education and skills
training instead of subjecting them to the poorest education on the
subcontinent. The education of black youth in townships and rural areas remains
the prime driver of inequality.
governments since 1994 had taken land reform seriously.
Note that I'm
not trying to sneak in a point that we shouldn't blame the generations of
colonialism and apartheid for the damage done to our people and our country. I'm
saying that's the given, that's not even up for debate. I'm asking what the ANC
had done given that reality. And I'm also not denying that there has been
substantial development in some areas, just not nearly enough as the anger and
frustration of ordinary people attest to.
Cyril Ramaphosa's theme is renewal and growth, but his party is still caught up
in the romanticism of the struggle against apartheid.
The ANC is
bent on a short-term focus on inequality rather than on poverty and human
suffering. Symbolism and show seem to be more important than the actual
improvement of the plight of most people.
Ramaphosa and his inner circle would want to transform the ANC into a modern
political party that can deal with 21st century challenges, but the nine years
of the Jacob Zuma presidency and the cheap populism he used as primary
methodology to stay in power and protect his system of patronage have severely
retarded the party's evolution. Its culture is still one of a liberation
movement under siege of a powerful enemy.
Julius Malema and the EFF have become the tail that wags the dog.
Ramaphosa I've watched in action since his days as a trade union leader is the
kind of leader that would want to cut the rhetoric and bullshit and get on with
the business of radically transforming this society through wise decisions,
sound policies and brave action by a clean and accountable government.
afraid he's a prisoner of nostalgia for a revolution that never really happened
and of enemies motivated by tribalism and patronage politics perpetuating that
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