ANC or South Africa – The tipping point is close
It is increasingly clear that President Ramaphosa is confronted more and more with the same situation as previous ANC leaders who put the ANC before the Constitution and South Africa.
Today we still reap the fruits of depending on outdated ideologies that are blindly pursued and enforced.
President Ramaphosa’s predecessor, Jacob Zuma, was very clear that the interests of the ANC were above the Constitution; this was also evident from his actions and utterances and consequently, he alienated a large part of the population.
In coming days, the ANC’s birthday celebration in Durban will be a barometer for the next few months and the rhetoric we can expect from the ANC and its leadership in the run-up to the general election.
The cause of the deep division of South Africa was diagnosed in one paragraph in the National Development Plan of 2012. “Our nation building effort has been more difficult in periods of slower economic growth. South Africa cannot afford a downward spiral that sharpens social tensions. Strong leadership is needed to promote the vision of the Constitution. A formal social compact may help to strengthen the alignment between growth, development and nation building, generating a virtuous circle.”
The challenge to President Ramaphosa during the ANC’s 107th birthday celebration is sixfold:
1. To put his expertise as head of state before the political dishonesty characteristic of his party.
2. To demonstrate that he can be the leader of all South Africans, also white South Africans who want to ensure that the country functions successfully.
3. To enable the revival of the ANC’s non-racial dream and principles of freedom instead of a party that itself applies racism and discrimination in various ways and deprives many South Africans of their freedom and self-respect in the process.
4. To focus on finding a solution in working on the emotional land issue. Expropriation without compensation cannot be successful. Despite the president’s assurances, it is even less likely that it can be implemented by a government that has already failed in numerous other areas. The whole issue, as well as the Draft Expropriation Bill, is being abused for political purposes and is based on a distorted and one-sided history. The president is also unfortunately personally involved in a narrative that proffers only one history.
5. To acknowledge that the ANC in its 25 years in office is an accessory, if not more than that, to the problems that we experience today. Too often apartheid is still made the scapegoat, and the government’s own large-scale involvement in corruption, state capture and deterioration, and colossal failures in land reform since 1994 is either ignored or handled with kid gloves.
6. To handle any processes involving land with absolute honesty and integrity. It is counterproductive to placate role players and the international community and pretend to be transparent, on the one hand, but to surreptitiously manipulate processes such as changing draft legislation to protect government land against expropriation (as recently highlighted by various role players), on the other.
The next few days will clearly show whether the ANC and its leadership respect South Africa, our Constitution and reconciliation or whether their focus and actions will be centred on yet more retribution, which will take South Africa even further along the path against which the National Development Plan warns: “South Africa cannot afford a downward spiral that sharpens social tensions.”
Statement issued by Jaco Schoeman, Chairperson of the Afrikanerbond, 11 January 2019