/The ANC NEC is taking the rest of us for a ride

The ANC NEC is taking the rest of us for a ride

2019-08-05 05:00

The ANC NEC’s latest statement was so devoid of reality and beset with contradictions it is impossible to take seriously. And it spoke of problems as if it isn’t chiefly responsible of almost all of them, writes Pieter du Toit.

week the ANC duo of Ace Magashule and Jessie Duarte delivered a statement on behalf
of the party’s national executive committee (NEC), that all-seeing and
all-powerful body that seems to hover above the rest of humanity while
directing everything on land, sea and air.

The statement was so devoid of
reality, stripped of honesty and beset with contradictions it is impossible to
take seriously.

It spoke about a tanking economy
as if the party isn’t chiefly responsible for the malaise we find ourselves in.
It trumpeted its elections victory as if all’s well and emphasised organisational unity and renewal – with the openly obstructionist and conniving
Magashule delivering the line with a straight face.

Magashule, the ANC’s secretary
general and the main actor in the bestselling graphic novel Gangster State, and
Duarte, forever stuck as deputy to whomever is the actual party secretary,
proceeded to weave a tale of a functioning party attempting to give measured
and considered direction to government, while offering workable and honest
solutions to matters of national importance.

It was of course total hogwash.

If it wasn’t so vastly removed
from reality – and if our country wasn’t immovably stuck in the devil’s
triangle of ANC infighting, poor governance and weak policy – it might have
been mildly entertaining. But what Magashule and Duarte dished up was

Their performance – and the NEC
statement – reveals either a stunningly weak grip on reality or a brazen belief
that the public and the media are buying what they’re selling. It may even be

Either way, the NEC’s musings
about life, love and loss will not only make no discernible impact anywhere on
Earth, but its tenuous tethering to reality confirms there really is no
concerted plan to move South Africa forward.

The statement’s introduction
starts off rather grandly by declaring that the NEC met for its “regular
session” from 26 to 29 July following the elections, a NEC lekgotla, the
opening of Parliament and the tabling of departmental budget votes.

“The successful
implementation of this programme of government, depends on an African National
Congress that is united, focused and with the capacity to mobilise society
behind the mission of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and
prosperous South Africa,” the statement reads.

“The NEC therefore addressed
the unity, renewal and capacity of the ANC, in the context of this mission, the
current economic situation confronting our nation, and the expectation of the
people that we must speed up transformation.”

This is stated as if there isn’t
a coordinated, sophisticated and determined effort to not only stall any and
all reformation efforts, but to render President Cyril Ramaphosa powerless so
that he may ultimately be removed. And it’s an effort that emanates from within
the heart of the party and its leadership structures.

But the ANC wants us to believe
it knows what it’s doing and that governance is top of the pops.

Take the section in the statement
under the heading “Speeding up radical socio-economic transformation”.
It is filled with copy and paste platitudes and is, to quote Judge Sulet
Potterill in the High Court’s most recent take-down of Public Protector
Busisiwe Mkhwebane, “vague and nonsensical and/or contradictory”.

The ANC NEC, the statement reads,
“woke up” to the news of sky-high unemployment. It however “agreed
that among the most critical tasks of the organisation, as we continue to build
a non-racial, non-sexism (there is a word missing from the statement, and “non-sexism”
should presumably be “non-sexist”) is therefore to place the economy
on an inclusive and higher growth trajectory, create employment, strengthen
local government and improve service delivery”.

It carries on: “It noted
with concern the poor performance of the economy, with continued jo(b) losses,
and serious challenges in critical state-owned enterprises. This has a dire
impact on poor households, the middle class, women and young people, who bear
the brunt of structural unemployment, inequality and poverty.”

It’s difficult to know where to

It “woke up” to the
grim employment figures? It has been presiding over deteriorating figures for
years, and there are no – zero – plans to turn it around.

The NEC meeting should have been
dominated by discussions on how to resurrect the economy, on clear and
deliverable plans to reconfigure Eskom, how to support agriculture, what to do
to give mining a last lease on life or how to start turning around our
debt-to-GDP ratio.

Instead it was a meeting where a
staged photo opportunity of a hug between Ramaphosa and former president Jacob
Zuma was sent into the ether.

Nobody believed that picture was
genuine. The two men detest each other, with Ramaphosa blaming Zuma for rampant
corruption, and Zuma despising Ramaphosa because he is fearful of being jailed.
As he should be.

South Africa will survive, but it
won’t be thanks to the ANC, it will be despite the ANC.

– Du Toit is assistant-editor for in-depth news.

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