FRIDAY BRIEFING | ANC policy conference: Taking the party's temperature

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ANC policy conference: Taking the ANC's temperature

When Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president of the ANC in 2017, there were high hopes that he would fix the country's issues. 

It is now nearly five years later, and that time Ramaphosa thought he had, is gone, and the country's issues are now even more extensive. Besides dealing with the fallout of the state capture years, there's growing unemployment, load shedding, and increasing cost of living exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

Ramaphosa has kicked the can down the road too many times. At this crucial time in the country's history, this weekend's ANC policy conference should be the best place to discuss and tackle the ongoing challenges. But it is unlikely that we will see the nuanced and intelligent debate that's needed. What we probably will see is the conference turning into just another proxy fight for the factions within the party. 

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In this week's Friday Briefing, News24 columnist and analyst Mpumelelo Mkhabela takes a closer look at what the party is revealing about itself through its documents, while News24 associate editor Qaanitah Hunter examines the symbolism of song at these conferences and how, this year, Ramaphosa enters the meeting without a rallying call for his supporters to coalesce around.  

Then Fin24's writer at large, Carol Paton, reflects on the ANC's take on getting the economy working, and just how ambitious those plans are. 

Finally, Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute's Ebrahim Fakir questions whether the policy conference actually matters. 

I hope you have a good weekend. 


Vanessa Banton 

Opinions editor

ANC falls from hero liberation movement to ordinary party. What now?

For the ANC to record in official party literature that it could be defeated in 2024 is significant for democracy as it reflects ready acceptance from an entrenched former liberation movement that's been in power for nearly three decades, writes Mpumelelo Mkhabela.

Pay attention to the hollowness of the songs at the ANC policy conference

While Cyril Ramaphosa is at the forefront of his bid for securing a second term as president of the ANC, there isn't a rallying song that spells out the vision for his supporters to cling onto, writes Qaanitah Hunter.

How hard will delegates push back against Ramaphosa's reform agenda?

As the ANC gears up for its policy conference on Friday, President Cyril Ramaphosa's approach to the economy will be under scrutiny. To counter any possible backlash against energy plan, Eskom 2.0 will be put on the table. Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan's new state-owned enterprise model can be expected to run into opposition, writes Carol Paton

The ANC policy conference: Being and nothingness. Why it matters and why it doesn't

The ANC’s continued conceptualisation of South Africa as "Colonialism of a Special Type" is inaccurate and misleading. But it is a handy pretence at an ideological instrument which is in fact devoid of ideology. In reality it is an instrument that excuses impunity, justifies capricious policy and legitimises a debilitating race-based politics of revenge, writes Ebrahim Fakir.


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