Malema's tenderpreneurship gets to the heart of what is wrong with the ANC's closed, crony society for the few
The report that ANC Youth League President Julius Malema's lifestyle has been funded by government tenders, and that the majority of the projects won by his firms were not completed on time, demonstrates two facts:
First, tenderpreneurship continues to bankroll heavyweight ANC politicians, as part of the ANC's closed, patronage society for the well-connected few. Along with their policy of cadre deployment, the awarding of government contracts to the ruling elite, stands at the heart of what is so fundamentally wrong about the ANC's style of governance.
The tragedy of the sort of tenderpreneurship engaged in by Malema and his ilk, is to be found in the nature of its relationship with the chronic backlogs in service delivery across many South African provinces and municipalities. The link is obvious: contracts or jobs that reward cronies inevitably come at the expense of the majority, since they are provided to those who are well connected, rather than those with the skills to deliver services to the people.
Second, for Malema to say "there is no law that says politicians can't be businessmen" just shows how duplicitous and, frankly, delirious, people like Malema have become. This, after all, was a man who once said "being involved in business compromises the independence of the ANCYL".
In classic ANC style, it's 'one set of rules when they suit us, and another set when they suit us'.
When the Democratic Alliance argued that there was a contradiction between the public attitude of President Zuma and his private behaviour, that assertion was met with considerable outrage from the ANC, which seems incapable of being able to properly identify the requirements of public office. But that contradiction is not particular to the President, it applies to a great many leaders in the ruling party, whose personal values and principles seem to differ fundamentally from those they promote and advocate for the South African people. Julius Malema is only the latest example of this kind of hypocrisy.
And the double standards that mark the gulf between his personal and public personas has reached an acute level, whereby his very name seems to have become synonymous with duplicity. The revelation that Malema's double life extends not only to the various and marked contradictions that define his rhetoric, but to his personal wealth, thus do not come as a surprise.
Indeed, they confirm that, whenever the ANC in general, and the ANCYL in particular, say something, you can be sure their own behaviour runs in the opposite direction.
The ANC might well claim to represent the poor, to berate capitalism for controlling the country's wealth, but its leaders are the first to warp BEE to their favour and to go about systematically creating and sustaining a small black elite, out of touch with ordinary South Africans, but happy to preach with moral indignation from the nearest soap box.
Statement issued by Khume Ramulifho, MP, Democratic Alliance national youth spokesperson, February 21 2010
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