Radical Economic Transformation is the policy of the ANC, not of an individual. Therefore, whoever emerges victorious as the president of the ANC in December is expected to implement radical economic transformation.
On the occasion of the celebration of its centenary, the ANC acknowledged and appreciated that it has survived over the past 100 years due, among other things, to its ability to uphold and build unity across a broad front of South Africans and progressive forces in the world in pursuit of a humane cause.
This is expressed in the 2012 Strategy and Tactics which provides the ANC with a broader strategic framework within which to pursue the National Democratic Revolution in a long walk to a national democratic society.
It is within the above ANC’s well pronounced political strategic posture that I find it very laughable, if it were not a tragedy and betrayal of the ANC character, for some of the ANC members especially in the National Executive Committee (NEC) to define the ANC outside of the middle and vice versa.
This new disturbing, bigoted and un-ANC tendency manifests itself through regurgitated epithets meant to isolate the black middle class from the electoral base of the ANC, castigate and egoistically reclassify them as the enemy of the National Democratic Revolution. I first heard of this political tragedy from the sitting president of the ANC and the country, Comrade Jacob Zuma, through his consistent use of the phrase “clever blacks” in reference to a section of the society which is vocal in denunciation of the reported maladministration and siphoning off of public resources for narrow, selfish reasons.
More often than not, instead of proving the allegations of corruption wrong, President Zuma painstakingly goes off at a tangent and attacks the middle class in an attempt to convince the public that the he is innocent. The Nkandla debacle and other corruption scandals are a figment of the imagination of the middle class and the mainstream media which are a threat to the country’s democracy. President Zuma’s attack on the middle class has left the real threats to our democracy unattended while he is busy chasing mosquitoes with a machine gun. The ripple effect of this misplaced focus and dereliction of duty is the emergence of one corruption scandal after another which dominate the public domain without any rebutting, as if nothing of a serious nature had happened which holds back the development of our country.
As the electoral fortunes of any political party in a democracy are shaped by public perceptions, the ANC was not spared as it suffered a significant decline of votes in the 2014 national government elections and loss of political power in three key metros (Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay) during the 2016 local government elections. This remains proof that the continued rubbishing of the middle class due to their dialectical and candid views of what has become of our glorious movement does not only rob the ANC of diversified progressive forces, but also reduces it to a rural party which might end up in the same predicament as Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe.
This is a serious indictment of the oldest liberation movement on the continent which prides itself for being led by middle class and intellectuals for the better part of its 105 years existence. To further illustrate the revolutionary connection between the ANC and middle class, it is worth highlighting that the majority of the black middle class are not only a product of the ANC’s transformative policies but also have their roots in poor families who were dependent and some of whom are still dependent on the ANC’s policies to improve their material conditions.
It is against this backdrop that I find it very disingenuous and misleading for the self-professed champions of radical economic transformation and their ANN7 political commentators-turned-sycophants and stooges to label the middle class as “black elites” who are opposed to radical economic transformation in favour of white monopoly capital.
In doing so and to confuse the unsuspecting branch members and supporters of the ANC, they opportunistically peddle falsehoods that Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is not embraced by “black elites” because of her tough talk about radical economic transformation. This mischievously positions her as the sole proponent of radical economic transformation, so that people who do not prefer her presidential candidature should be accused of opposing the realisation of radical economic transformation. This is a naked lie. Radical economic transformation is the policy of the ANC, not of an individual, and therefore whoever emerges victorious as the president of the ANC is expected to implement it.
As such, Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa also talks about the urgent need for radical economic transformation in our country where the gap between the poor and the rich is widening. The question is, why is he endorsed by the so-called “black elites” if they are strongly opposed to radical economic transformation as purported by Dlamini Zuma supporters? The answer is simple. Ramaphosa is alive to the fact that corruption is a serious hindrance to the achievement of radical economic transformation, thus he commits himself to root out corruption while also accelerating implementation of ANC policies for the benefit of the majority of South Africans, not only a few individuals with close proximity to power. These are the cardinal points of Ramaphosa’s campaign, which, much like the middle class’s tough stance on corruption, are deliberately and desperately misconstrued by NDZ supporters and ANN7 boot-licker commentators with their voodoo political analysis as oppositional to radical economic transformation. This tendency unfortunately reduces radical economic transformation to a bogeyman to scare some sections of the society and rubbish those with a different choice of presidential hopeful than Dlamini Zuma as enemies of transformation and white monopoly capital mascots. This is a dangerous trajectory which does not serve the interests of the ANC and the country.
Pompous ostracisation and a declaration of war against the people that the ANC will need in order to retain power in 2019 national government elections defy logic at best and is a political tragedy at worst. With that said, beware of creating unnecessary enemies at the altar of populism and expediency. And let us not follow Nomvula Mokanyane’s slippery tongue which, once upon a time, while premier of Gauteng in 2013, spewed venom against protesting residents of the Bekkersdal community by suggesting that their votes are dirty. Much to the chagrin of her fellow comrades, she said the ANC does not want their “dirty votes”. Let us not follow that route to 2019, inameva iyahlaba. DM