The ANC that will celebrate the 110th anniversary of its founding on 8 January 2022 will be a completely different organisation from the one that celebrated its centenary year a little over 10 years ago.
There can be little doubt about this.
By January, it will be a movement – a once-proud liberation movement – fighting for survival.
But whatever happens it will never – can never – be what it once was in the years it was widely respected.
And that may not be a bad thing.
How did it get to a point where it has become the laughingstock of hundreds of thousands of South Africans who once followed it, almost slavishly, and voted for it, as unquestioningly?
How did it allow so many of its officials to become thieves and thugs?
Why have so many of its members looked on, saying nothing as the corruptors and the corrupted destroyed what was built up over decades?
Why did they break so many promises to so millions of poor people who desperately looked forward to a much better standard of living?
Was it arrogance?
Was it greed?
Did its top officials find the trappings of power too irresistible?
Cyril Ramaphosa, probably the last president of the ANC in its current format, promised over three years ago when he took over that he would stop the rot within the organisation.
But it was a rot that ran deeper than even the most realistic of its officials would have thought.
And Ramaphosa and others wasted an inordinate amount of time clinging to the ridiculously shortsighted belief that unity among its members was more important than creating jobs for millions of unemployed, more important than the pit toilets that needed to be eradicated at far too many schools, more important than a housing shortage that ran into millions, more important than crime that was shooting out of control, and more important than a public health system that was in tatters….
As Ramaphosa pushed, prodded and stroked, and as he tried to stick plasters over gaping wounds, many members of the organisation who, quite frankly, should have been in jail, had the temerity to go to those their organisation had so disgracefully betrayed, with yet another new promise: Radical Economic Transformation (RET).
Let’s be clear about this: South Africa DOES need Radical Economic Transformation.
The poor should have had it almost three decades ago.
Consider this: in 2019, the World Bank declared SA the most unequal country in the world – and last year the United Nations’ Human Development Index and Human Development Report (HDR) both stated that hardly any progress had been made in eradicating these inequalities.
The UN’s Human Development Index, which analyses the quality of life in countries against their industrial development, currently ranks South Africa 114th out of 189 countries.
The HDR said about 11 percent of South Africans – 6.5 million – are living below the international poverty line (about R28 a day, or 800 a month).
In addition, it reported that of this figure, nearly 4-million people were living in ‘multidimensional poverty’ – which they defined as living in poor health, suffering from malnutrition, lacking access to clean water and health care services, and having poor, and often, no housing.
If it is considered that these figures are rising all the time, it becomes obvious that something drastic MUST be done to improve the quality of life of poor South Africans – especially those in the black communities.
What is needed – and despite what parties like the DA and Herman Mashaba’s 1stSA movement are saying – is a left-wing socialist party.
There, I’ve said it.
Members of the ANC faction calling for RET are made up almost entirely of those involved in corruption.
Most of them must be arrested, tried and, if found guilty, jailed.
Over the last few years, the ANC has become a party of all talk and no action – and this certainly applies to the RET grouping.
However, it should be added that the Ramaphosa grouping promises more and does even less.
The best the ANC can do is follow the route of other liberation movements – such as the Sandinista National Liberation Front in Nicaragua – and break up.
It matters less which grouping ends up with the tarnished name of the organisation that was founded in 1912.
What is more important is the advent of a party that will attack poverty vigorously and HONESTLY, that will oversee radical economic transformation, and that will expropriate land without compensation.
Which party will grab the nettle?
The poor have waited long enough for justice and opportunities….