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In the halcyon days of life under Nelson Mandela, it was impossible to imagine how the the ANC could transform into a party that protects the personal interests of a few at the expense of the vast majority that it represents. Phumlani Majozi of the Institute of Race Relations pulls no punches in his assessment of the current state of the ANC. He reckons it must be removed from power immediately after ‘urinating’ on the Constitution and harming the economy. The ANC is to blame for many millions of people failing to find employment, for rising inflation and for business confidence hitting a three-decade low, is his assessment. Majozi was reminded of how the ANC is ‘completely failing’ the youth, with declining standards of education a prime example, when he listened to President Jacob Zuma speak at the weekend. But, let’s hope the ANC isn’t replaced by a party of the ilk of the Economic Freedom Fighters at the ballot boxes – as life in South Africa will be far worse under a Julius Malema than it could ever be under President Jacob Zuma, says Majozi. Mandela must be turning in his grave. – Jackie Cameron
By Phumlani M. Majozi*
Listening to President Jacob Zuma’s January 8th speech, at the African National Congress’ (ANC’s) 105th anniversary celebration, held in Orlando Stadium, in Soweto, last Sunday, I couldn’t help thinking, this is it, the ANC is totally lost, and must be removed from power, immediately.
The party celebrated its 105 years in a time where it is facing huge political pressures, pressures that have led to the continuous decline of its support. The current leadership of the ANC is, in large part, to blame for the persistent decline.
Under this leadership, since 2007, corruption became rife, South Africa’s precious, though imperfect constitution was urinated upon by the party’s elite, and a further move to the left has caused serious harm to the economy, with millions unemployed.
But I do believe this decline of ANC’s morality and support is good for South Africa. In the process, our democracy undergoes severe tests, and clearly, people are responding to the ruling party’s immoral deeds, though slowly.
We are being tested on how serious we are about our country – and on whether the ANC is still the right party to lead South Africa.
Because every time the ANC bungles governance, our institutional frameworks allow us an opportunity to democratically respond to their incompetence.
This is a liberation movement that fought vigorously for a democratic South Africa. Many of its fearless, principled fighters lost their lives in the struggle for a democratic South Africa. A party that produced world renowned leaders whose persistent and brave fight brought us the democratic nation we live in today.
It’s a party whose record in the anti-apartheid struggle and the pursuit of a peaceful post-apartheid South Africa are impeccable.
Now, with the economy doing terribly, and political support declining, the party looks totally lost. Because of the decline, the reference to apartheid has become its campaign tool, and it has, puzzlingly, held on to its failed and destructive national democratic revolution (DMR).
Much damage has been done by this national democratic revolution – unemployment staggering, business confidence lowest in thirty years, corruption rife, prices are rising, public debt on an upward trend.
And in Zuma’s January 8th Statement speech, it was clear that our economy will not be getting back on track under the ANC; definitely not under this leadership.
The president was unequivocal in that his government will be on the driving seat of the economy – more regulations are coming, including the national minimum wage law – a regulation that will certainly increase South Africa’s already staggering unemployment. Yet the president expressed his party’s confidence that South Africa’s economy will grow by 2.9% this year. With current policies, and worse ones to come, this is impossible.
The ANC leadership seem to struggle with the distinction between mistakes and poor choices.#ANC105
— Thabiso TT Tema (@ThabisoTema) January 8, 2017
On education government is completely failing our youth. The standard of our education is being dropped every year for the purposes of making every learner pass. That makes politicians look good of course, and gets them votes, while young people suffer and will remain jobless.
Teacher unions like South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU), ANC’s partner in destruction of our education, don’t want to see any rational reforms on our education system; because it threatens their interests. We’re in a terrifying mess.
Indeed, the ANC was central in transitioning South Africa into a new democratic society. They brought us this peaceful, vibrant democracy. Its handling of a tumultuous nation undergoing severe political tests was glorious. Its leadership was needed to propel this nation to greater heights.
But now it’s time for it to go. South Africa needs a new leadership with new perspectives. This is necessary in an evolving world that continuously demands new solutions for the problems we face. ANC’s ideas are failing the country, especially the youth that faces massive unemployment.
It’s great that South Africans are responding, though slowly, to ANC’s deplorable governance. The recent local elections – where the party lost major metros are indicative of the people’s frustration with the ANC.
Hopefully, moving forward, South Africans will react speedily to the ANC’s failings – at the ballot box – and vote them out. It will be good for our democracy, as it will be reminder to politicians that in South Africa, failure and irresponsibility go punished.
But I hope it will never ever be the socialist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) that South Africans choose as a replacement to the ANC, because the situation under the EFF would be much, much worse.
- Phumlani M. Majozi is a policy fellow at the IRR, a think tank that promotes economic and political liberty. Follow the IRR on Twitter @IRR_SouthAfrica.
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