The ANC conference will do nothing for South Africans

Phumlani Majozi says the ruling party can no longer be saved, and that is a good thing

The ANC elective conference will do nothing for South Africans

South Africa's President, Cyril Ramaphosa, is currently going through a storm. The storm comes at a critical time for him and his party the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC holds its 55th national elective conference in Johannesburg this weekend, where it will elect its new leadership.

This year was a rough one for South Africans, with the inflation that continued to get out of control, the floods that left hundreds dead in my home province KwaZulu-Natal, the labour strikes that worsened Eskom’s blackouts, skyrocketing murder rates, and the worst power blackouts since loadshedding  began 15 years ago.

Through these challenges, we were informed by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) that South Africa's economic output is back to its pre-COVID pandemic levels. 

What is vital to remind people about Stats SA's data, is that South Africa's economy before COVID was in bad shape, with numerous GDP (gross domestic products) contractions under Cyril Ramaphosa as President. So, still, nothing changes for the better for South Africans.

All these structural socio economic problems I have mentioned will not disappear under the new leadership of the ANC to be elected this weekend. The problems developed and deteriorated under ANC's governance. That is a fact that no rational person should deny.

Andre De Ruyter is a loss to South Africa

The resignation of Andre De Ruyter as CEO of Eskom is damaging to South Africa. He has done a great job during his years in the Eskom CEO office; cleaning up the operational mess in the company including corruption, and reducing debt. All in the midst of severe political obstacles and the broken infrastructure, all produced by the ANC. His work was not finished.

Andre rightly believed that Eskom needs competition in the energy sector – that the private sector has a crucial role in supplying electricity for South African consumers. He expressed such views publicly, which was good from him.

As Business Day correctly wrote  in its editorial, “De Ruyter’s resignation leaves SA in a deeply perilous position. Do not let the incoming distractions fool you. We’re in deep trouble.” It will be hard to find somebody who will be committed to making tough decisions to address Eskom's problems.

Some people blame De Ruyter for the on-going blackouts, and that is wrong. The ANC government got South Africa to this mess; it is the ANC government that should be resigning, not De Ruyter.

The status quo will continue post-ANC conference

Cyril Ramaphosa will win the Presidency of the ANC, but that outcome will not change the lives of South Africans for the better. ANC's governance has ruined people's lives, and people will need to hold the ANC to account in 2024's national elections. The only chance South Africans have to change their country for the better, is in 2024. Even political analyst Prince Mashele has alluded to this. 

On corruption, Mashele has said regardless of who takes power in the ANC, corruption will persist. Because the problem is that the entire ANC is corrupt. This is very true - the Phala Phala farm scandal proves Mashele's point. 

The ANC can no longer be saved

What is clear is that the ANC can no longer be saved or renewed. It is too late to renew it. Every rational South African can see that the ANC is in a process of self-destruction. This self-destruction is, in a sense, good for South Africa. ANC’s time is up. 

Former President Thabo Mbeki can see that his party is in serious trouble. He has been outspoken lately on what ails South Africa and where Ramaphosa’s government fails the nation.  

Of course, no ANC member will listen to Mbeki, because the party has become too rogue to transform for the better. Almost everyone who serves in the ANC serves for personal gain or personal interest, not for the advancement of South Africa. There is absolutely no renewal that can take place in the ANC at this point.

The ANC is not the only liberation party in trouble in Africa, other liberation movements are in trouble too.

Bloomberg wrote this year that Southern Africa's liberation movements are losing support in their countries.  

The People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola in Angola (MPLA) got the lowest vote since Angola's independence in the recent national elections. The Angolan results may be a sign of things to come, Bloomberg wrote.

The liberation parties from Angola to Namibia, to Mozambique, to Zimbabwe, to South Africa, are under increasing pressure, as they are losing appeal amongst African citizens.

The decline of the ANC is a typical African story. A story that begins with jubilation and hope at the time of independence, and then evolves  into corruption and mismanagement of countries by the liberation movements.  

It is safe to say that the ANC conference will do nothing for the betterment of South Africans. It is just an internal contestation in the ANC. And every faction wants to win to advance its interests, not to advance South Africa.

South Africans must wise up enough to see through the ANC’s nonsense, and punish the party at the polls in 2024.

Phumlani M. Majozi is a senior fellow at African Liberty. His website is phumlanimajozi.com. Follow him on Twitter: @PhumlaniMMajozi.