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What the ANC’s win means

EWN reports that Cyril Ramaphosa has said, “We have a clear mandate and we can say we’re going to do what our people want us to do.”

According to the ENCA that may include trimming his cabinet, and a zero tolerance policy towards corruption and fraud.

“Corruption got in the way, patronage got into the way and not focusing on the needs of our people got into the way,” ENCA quoted Ramaphosa as saying.

The ANC’s victory comes despite weak economic growth, unemployment of over 27%, allegations of corruption and mismanagement in every state-owned enterprise, the vice president being accused of taking funds intended for schools in Limpopo and using them to buy favours within the party, internal strife that has led to assassins being employed in KwaZulu Natal to kill ANC councillors, ongoing inquiries into state capture and corruption naming senior figures in the ANC and the list goes on.

According to News24, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, the subject of the book Gangster State, about his corrupt dealings when he ran the Free State,  has told incoming cabinet members that they shouldn’t be lead by their consciences but by the party.

The Citizen reports that the ANC spent more than R1 billion on the election.

Public relations strategist Khanyisile Madlala stated that while this was certainly a boon for public relations and marketing companies, one has to wonder how above board it all was.

My Take

Ramaphosa has a mandate. His support in this country is down to the idea that he will clean up the ANC and lead the country back to some degree of sanity.

Whether he actually fulfills his mandate is another question.

My view is that South African voters are very much like Satan in the South Park Movie. Warning, strong language.

The vote for the ANC was in real terms a vote for more corruption, because most of the corrupt actors who poisoned the organisation are still there.

Magashule’s statement tells us exactly how much the ANC has changed in reality – not at all. If cabinet members are putting the party before their consciences, then what they’re doing is helping the party leadership steal.

Obviously I hope I am wrong, and that the ANC actually starts doing the basic work of government honestly and cleanly.

Ramaphosa saying that patronage got in the way of that work, is being accurate. It remains to be seen whether he realises that patronage is another word for cadre deployment.

There is a strong risk in the next five years that if things don’t change, we end up with a tax revolt. I suspect there are already people asking, “Lindiwe Sisulu doesn’t pay her rates, why should you pay your taxes?”

That’s a tough question to answer. Personally I oppose a tax revolt, because without tax income running the country becomes impossible and if you want to see how difficult it would be to get people paying again, look at the situation in Soweto with Eskom.

Soweto’s high power bill all started with a protest action years ago – and that action has continued to this day because now nobody can afford to pay the bill, and Eskom can’t afford to write it off.

I am not sure a tax revolt would stop with a change in government, meaning whoever took over next would have an even bigger mess to deal with.

That said, it is tough to argue this when very highly paid members of government don’t do the work, and don’t pay their share.

And the sort of government where we think these things is what people voted for whether they realise it or not.

We could have had a change in ruling party, and we opted for more of the same.

I get why people don’t support the other parties, the smaller ones don’t stand a chance and the bigger ones, well the EFF are downright fascists and voting for the DA involves major trade-offs.

I want Ramaphosa to succeed to running the country well, because I want the country to succeed. If he does that I’m happy. If he doesn’t, then it is up to the opposition to get their acts together and offer a real alternative.

It is not enough to say that the ANC are bad, we know they’re bad, we’ve got eyes, give us something to vote for, don’t just expect people to vote against the ruling party.

  • Picture courtesy of GCIS via Flickr.
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