New class structure a challenge for ANC

2012-06-20 17:18

Johannesburg - The significant change in South Africa's class structure in the past 18 years has implications for the ANC, according to national executive committee member Joel Netshitenzhe.

"The fundamental implication of these social dynamics is that the changing class structure within the black community... happens because of opportunities in the political or public sphere," he wrote in the latest volume of the ANC Today.

Research showed that South Africa's middle class increased from about 10% of the population in 1994 to around 20% in 2011, Netshitenzhe said.

The largest growth in the middle class had been among blacks, where it had doubled since 1994.

This had implications for the African National Congress, which has been in power for 18 years, for what Netshitenzhe called the "sins of incumbency".

No longer living under the struggle

He said that while the party spoke of the values and culture of the "struggle", it was no longer living under the struggle, but in an advanced capitalist society with a small open economy under conditions of globalisation.

The emerging middle class did not have historical assets and had to support large extended families, leading it to take on debt.

"Having dipped their toes into that lifestyle, but with no such historical assets as are available to the white middle and upper strata, some then try to acquire the resources by hook or by crook."

Many blacks gained access to the middle class through leadership positions at local government level, at university student organisations and at trade unions or through the civil service.

"While there is a new crop of young black professionals and entrepreneurs who are rising on the social ladder only due to their skills and acumen and do not require affirmative action, these are still the exception that proves the rule," he said.

The position of this new middle strata was therefore tenuous, insecure and about survival, Netshitenzhe said.

"The sins of incumbency derive in large measure from this."

It led to patronage and corruption.

"In pursuit of numbers, a price is attached to a conference delegate's vote.

"And to paraphrase a lecturer at a recent Gauteng political education workshop, a toxic leadership then begets toxic members, some of whom actually demand financial and other incentives to vote in particular ways."

Netshitenzhe said the ANC had to consider whether this should be dealt with only as an internal issue, as it could negatively affect infrastructure spending; the delivery of text books; the quality of legislation passed by Parliament; and salary demands of the lower middle strata in the public service.

Problems of political incumbency

He said the ANC's discussion document on organisational renewal, to be debated at its policy conference in Midrand, offered proposals on dealing with the problems of political incumbency.

These included "a radical shift in the management of leadership contestation so we can dispense with the current pretence that everyone is waiting for October when nominations will start, while people are actually organising factional meetings about slates in the middle of the night".

He was referring to the party's national conference in Mangaung in the Free State in December, when new leaders will be elected. The leadership battle officially opens only in October.

"We may need to go even further and state clearly that members who wish to stand for particular positions should declare, get vetted, afforded a platform in the branches and regions to explain their proposed value addition; and get disqualified if they break the rules," Netshitenzhe suggested.

Netshitenzhe is the executive director of the Mapungubwe Institute of Strategic Reflection.

  • bennie.kruger.5 - 2012-06-20 17:28

    During the Struggle , Struggle Struggle - All were equal. Now some are more equal than other. Socialism do not work like promised !!! Mkay

      Irene - 2012-06-20 19:05

      @Oscar ~ Oh come on man, didn't they give you the secret pin for ATM machines where the money comes pouring out if you're white? ;-)

      oscar.vanriel - 2012-06-20 19:41

      Irene, no I think they forgot about the pin code, they were to busy explaining about the trust funds, farms, businesses and how apartheid works;-)

  • Tim Norris - 2012-06-20 17:30

    I think Joel raises a very good point and I hope that the ANC takes his views on board and debates/acts on them

      poloyatonkim - 2012-06-20 18:27

      ANC is big man, this whole thing wont affect it for the next 200 years.

      mantsho.tlali - 2012-06-20 18:40

      Keep dreaming Polo.

      Daniel - 2012-06-20 18:41

      If you're steering a big ship... you need to take action sooner because it takes longer to change course. Good luck with them icebergs

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-06-20 18:46

      Get off the woonga Polo

      Michele - 2012-06-20 19:23

      Polo - the anti-democrat. Daniel, he is probably mostly uneducated, and more indoctrinated, so your punny (i thought it was great) statement about the iceberg will fall on cauliflower ears and A brain cell.

  • tumisang.kolobe - 2012-06-20 17:31

    The ANC has this powerful thinkers behind closed doors....Even the biggest think tank the ANC has ever produced Comrade Mbeki doesnt even come close to Joel however because pupulism is esteemed higher than intellegence we always have to settle for popular individuals rather than people who can move the country forward, The gains of the middle are welcomed however they are not enough, we need radical policy change like Nationalisation of mines and Banks to drive out poverty from black communities.

      wehan.victor - 2012-06-20 17:39

      you don't know what you are talking about...

      SARealist - 2012-06-20 17:45

      Can you please inlighten me as to how the nationalisation of the banks will drive out poverty? You must know something that is a well kept secret. I was always taught that one needs to bake more cakes if one wants to share the cake with more people. If one just cuts the cake into smaller pieces then each will just get crumbs.

      Crotch Rocket - 2012-06-20 17:53

      This is what I am talking about. 50 Million of the likes of Tumisang that have no clue how an economy is run. Clueless. He probably thinks the day the banks are nationalised, all the money in it will be driven with trucks to the townships and divided amongst them.

      christopher.columbus.3950178 - 2012-06-20 17:57

      Hahahaha...tumisang...Nationalise the banks and mines?! ok who will run the banks then? anc top brass? If you put a cent into that bank, you will not be able to get it will be gone...Under the bed will be the better option!

      smili.fication - 2012-06-20 18:01

      Biggest think tank.... Shm... the ANC sprang a leak ages ago. In any case what this man is saying is that: THE ANC IS NOT RELEVANT ANYMORE. So we have to vote in another goverment, one that protects taxpayer from those who "acquire the resources by hook or by crook."

      BulletProof. - 2012-06-20 18:14

      You do not Know how nationalization ruine dozens of Countrys, grow up and go study, surf a bit about the subject and may be you will learn something.

      Rob - 2012-06-20 18:19

      Lol!! Did you mention the banks because that's where they keep the cash? That's the funniest thing I've read all day

      grace.andtruth.77 - 2012-06-20 18:25

      Good heavens Tumisang! Nationalise the banks and they will just become another slush fund! I think your think tank just echoed...

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-06-20 18:48

      Trust Kolobe to wait until he is really high on tik before commenting on anything

      Michele - 2012-06-20 19:26

      Tumisang, you are a prime example of this awesome think tank! Shame on you, shame on the ANC. There is nothing more dangerous (and more common) than a stupid person who doesn't know it.

      catgirl1971 - 2012-06-20 19:30

      Kolobe, WTF u been smoking????!!!!

      alansmartSnr - 2012-06-20 20:09

      ..@..tumisang.kolobe.. I've seen some stupid and idiotic comments on this forum but never, ever, such an stupid and uninformed comment as yours. Actually it is quite humourous to think that someone who can use a keyboard with one finger can dish up such a foolish comment. You've had mines..and look how they messed that up after a mere 6 months. You've got a bank - African Bank.. and wise yourself up on how many times it had to pulled out of bankcrupsy.. Geez! you're too dumb to engage in an intelligent debate. Suggest you leave your bosses 'puter and finish cleaning the toilets..or whatever

      rory.short1 - 2012-06-20 20:11

      Tumisang wealth is not created by nationalisation it is destroyed. Wealth is created by enterprising individuals who through blood sweat and tears create successful new businesses. The only other road to wealth is by theft and that means that somebody else, who created it, has lost it. Nationalisation is but thinly veiled theft by the ruling political elite of a country, they and their cronies are the only people who benefit that is until the nationalise entities collapse economically.

      Charnelle - 2012-06-20 20:31

      Oh OH OH! If we nationalize banks does it mean that I no longer have to pay a bond or for my car? Does that mean I am debt free??? Oh one can only dream!

  • braamc - 2012-06-20 17:35

    Off course worried they not gonna vote for you, because they fed up with the filthy thieving corrupt ANC and the youth on the other hand just not going to vote. Tata to the cANCer, not that long anymore.

      Sharon - 2012-06-20 18:00

      It's true. I think that if you look at election results the growth in the DA will be in direct proportion to the growth in the black middleclass. The thing that must be most worrisome to the "ANC thinktank" is how to pull the wool over the eyes of this new type of voter. Not quite as easy as the people living in extreme poverty.

  • Crotch Rocket - 2012-06-20 17:37

    This will not change the direction of the ANC. They will peddle "struggle" until the sun burns out and in the process are blinded by the fact that the very way they run the country and the economy into the ground, will ultimately consume all of them. A liberation movement has not yet governed any country successfully anywhere and the ANC is no exception. The secret in all of this, is to find one's own niche midst all the corruption and make bags of money. A clever way to hedge your assets against the erosive manner in which the country is run, is to buy foreign stocks and focus on other stock markets. These people of the ANC don't even know how the JSE functions, so it is just a matter of time before the uneducated members of the Youth League burn it down.

      Rob - 2012-06-20 18:26

      Thats what happens when you have government run by commies.. Always wanting to "share"

  • Revelgen - 2012-06-20 17:39

    It's great that there is a growing Black middle class. My father was a doctor who did much work amongst Black communities in PE (and died poor - good doctor, bad businessman!) always said that the future hope for SA was a large settled Black middle-class. If you have ownership of a property and other assets, you don't want to go on a rampage and destroy the joint. If you are living under plastic and cardboard, you have nothing to lose. The only hope for SA is that this emerging middle class sees that the ANC's inefficient, corrupt, communistic policies will be the downfall of the country, and instead vote in an honest, effective, intelligent government (of all races). No more destructive 'cadre deployment'.

      Kolobe - 2012-06-20 17:56

      the day you can also blame imbalances in the pvt sector the better

  • Kolobe - 2012-06-20 17:39

    simply put..we in an era of economic freedom struggle #asijiki

      smili.fication - 2012-06-20 18:04

      No, we are in an Era of denial of basic services and corruption. You are as thick as pig$hit troll.

      bernpm - 2012-06-20 18:12

      "economic freedom" looks good on a card board in a street procession but is an economic pipe-dream which only exists in a country with no government and no neighbours.

      Rob - 2012-06-20 18:21

      who doesn't?

      Michele - 2012-06-20 19:30

      The struggle is over. get a life Kolobe. Oh, and a job. And if you cant find a job change your vote, cos the ANC and your thought processes (as minimal as they are) ain't gonna create one for you. If you can't change your vote, create your own job and work for yourself, and start with nothing like all entrepreneurs do. And if you can't do that then cook dinner for your mother or something. Just stay off the internet please.

      Martha1234 - 2012-06-20 20:23

      Economic freedom = education. That should be the highest priority of any youth league or government. Why is it not happening?

  • DJPotifar - 2012-06-20 17:41

    This guy really payed attention in his Sociology classes.

      Barend - 2012-06-20 19:04

      Would you still have this point of view if he had someone prepare this statement for him?

  • Milano - 2012-06-20 17:45

    That means we need quality qualified leaders otherwise we find alternatives, we don't want rapist and aids spreading leaders ignored immorality at its best......

      John - 2012-06-20 17:54

      Don't know who you vote for, so might be preaching to the converted, but if that is what you want, vote for it. That is how democracy operate.

  • John - 2012-06-20 17:53

    How is it that every "youth" insist that Julias Malema is such a good man, because he talks straight, yet, this guy will probably be branded as a "coconut" or my personal favorite "anti-revolutionary."

  • Sannie - 2012-06-20 18:13

    "The fundamental implication of these social dynamics is that the changing class structure within the black community... happens because of opportunities in the political or public sphere," Unfortunately, Joel does not come up with the solutions to accelerate the transformation in the private sector.

  • david.mlambo.77 - 2012-06-20 18:15

    This has become the norm as it is difficult to earn a honest life thanks to low life,s like Julieus and the ANC senior council who have made it clear that the ANC is your only ticket to \THE\ life hence a close assosiation with criminal elements. How many people have been arrested, discharged of duties and such eventualities that are close to JZ

  • Andricca - 2012-06-20 18:21

    agreed Joel, the ANC must modernize, we are no longer in the bush strategizing on how we defeat apartheid, we are living in real world where competence must override all criteria when deploying so called cadres

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-06-20 18:29

    Party politics is a canvas on which pictures can be painted to infinity. Each stroke of the brush enriches someone and impoverishes many more. The only way to freedom and prosperity for all, is to abandon the political party system. You cannot find direction in a whirlpool. We must break free from this downward spiral.

      Barend - 2012-06-20 19:10

      I like where your head is at. Government is outsourcing everything anyway so why do we need them?

      grace.andtruth.77 - 2012-06-20 19:35

      Thus 'the spear'. Painted on canvas but slaughtered a nation! And that's exactly what Zuma and his mates have done!

  • grace.andtruth.77 - 2012-06-20 18:33

    It would be interesting to see the changes and percentages in the growth of the black 'upper class'... (government employees INCLUDED)

  • michael.e.bowery - 2012-06-20 18:47

    Joel N and other aspirants to ANC power should realise that the majority of white and other minorities in the country whose actual vote counts for nothing are sitting waiting. They are watching the ANC gradually getting ready to tear itself to pieces as it gears for another election. An election where the sheep who are currently protesting poor or no service delivery, will again faithfully cast their votes for this corrupt Party in government. However, the knives are already out. A new wave of political hopefuls are standing ready in the wings to get their new just as greedy hands on the spoils offered by becoming a newly elected ANC politico. As has happened time and time again in Africa, this is when the real fighting will start and the minorities would do well not to get caught in the middle. Rather settle back until the blood letting ceases and the political rabies epidemic is over. The dream of course is to awaken to a President like De Lille and an honest government. In Africa that unfortunately remains just a pipe-dream. Spookoctopus

      Michele - 2012-06-20 19:40

      So true, the ANC has fostered a bunch of power hungry individuals, which can be likened to a pack of hyenas at a lion kill. They will kill each other off eventually, and we can only wait, and hope that this happens before every voter with more than 2 brain cells to rub together has left our beautiful shores.

  • mgratitude1 - 2012-06-20 19:03

    This is what happens when you give power to the Mob/Goyim. As the elders of Zion have predicted, it was only a matter of time that's this very power we have destroys us. So what if you make money via politics/state resources, no one is immune to that sting.

  • rory.short1 - 2012-06-20 19:51

    Good there are still thinking members of the ANC in leadership positions. In my opinion the rot started in 1994 when the then leadership of the ANC decided to devote itself to legislatively trying to open up space in that section of SA economy which was first world in nature and which Apartheid had basically tried to restrict to the white population. Thus this first world economy was only big enough to cater for 20% of our total population at most and even if all those with white skins had been replaced by previously disadvantaged people it would still have left 60% of the previously disadvantaged on the scrap heap of unemployment. Anyway the ANC recognised that total replacement was both immoral and impractical so we were returned instead to the Apartheid era sickness of 'Job Reservation' but under a new legislative name of 'Affirmative Action' [AA]. As anybody, who bothered to think about it, could see, AA could do nothing about our massive unemployment problem and it hasn't. It would have been far better for us all if the ANC had forgotten about race, which is actually irrelevant anyway in the bigger scheme of things, and concentrated instead on people development and expanding economic opportunities for everybody. 48 years wasted because the Apartheid regime was racially pre-occupied and now another 18 years largely wasted because the ANC leadership has been pre-occupied with race whilst trying to right the wrongs of the past.

  • Martha1234 - 2012-06-20 20:15

    Hello.... The only way to create equal opportunities is to give equal education. Maybe, dear government, you should remove your heads from the feeding trough and deliver text books instead of useless press statements! Hand over government to the mothers of this land and watch us fight to ensure our children have better lives. And by the way, don't tarnish hard working, successful black South African with your corrupt brush, they did not use corruption and theft to get where they are!

  • anthonie.vanbosch - 2012-06-20 21:36

    The best way forward is to build a community, whether under capitalism or socialism. Many people are living selfishly with only greed and enrichment on their minds with no ubuntu and/or brotherhood as a priority. Money is not everything but friendship is. Sport is a good way of building these friendships and one can see it with the new generation of black and white children becoming friends at school. Hopefully amongst them somewhere is a new leader who will bring us all together under whatever system appreciating each other’s friendship and lead us towards patriotism for our beloved country and towards our fellow citizens and doing away with all types of discrimination. Please keep on working towards this goal and fight against ruthless employers and individuals who are only out to exploit people. They need to know those days are over.

  • Lorraine McDonogh - 2012-06-20 22:49

    When a shepherd leads the sheep are safe, well fed and protected! When the sheep lead the good shepherds get wiped out and the wolves devour the the flock and then they turn on themselves to satisfy their hunger for corruption-power and self gain. The onetime opportunity that the ANC had has been lost and the best the best thing they can do, not just to save face, but to re-capture a right vision, is to establish a government of national unity that governs on the basis of capability, thus serving all people. I plead with the ANC to lay down its wrongdoing and unite with the "opposition parties" to salvage our country from civil war and thus prove that Africa and African, no matter what color, is proving that history reproduces itself. In our context, a sate of hopelessness for all. A wise saying: as a man thinks, so he is! We see that results too clearly,

  • Fhedzani Sadiki - 2012-06-20 23:49

    The dude is one of the most respected ANC heavy weights. He speaks sense all the time, pity most of the time no one is listening.

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