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Now is the time for the ANC’s renewal or extinction

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Omry Makgoale is a rank and file member of the ANC. These are his personal views.

The people have rejected corruption and incompetence by giving the ANC less than 50% of the votes for the first time since 1994. Municipal elections were for the ANC to lose rather than an opportunity for opposition parties

The recent municipal elections are a lesson to all genuine ANC members. Rampant corruption and incompetence will no longer be rewarded, ignored or accommodated. South African voters have had enough of the malaise of corruption and mismanagement of the economy.

Most ANC councillors are no longer trusted after they bankrupted several municipalities: Madibeng in the North West, Emfuleni in Gauteng, Mogalakwena in Limpopo, Harrismith and Maluti a Phofung in the Free State and many more. There has been no consequence for the mayors, municipal managers and accountants responsible for this maladministration and large-scale looting. They still walk free, thanks to the incompetence and paralysis of South African police management. Crime pays in South Africa. 

With ANC support below 50% of those who voted in the 2021 municipal elections, one must also consider that an estimated 70% of the electorate simply did not vote. It is disenchantment with corruption inside the ANC and low confidence in the opposition parties that led to such an appallingly low turnout of voters. What happened, for 70% of the electorate not to have bothered to vote?

A big question of “why?” hangs over this election. Most people attribute it mainly to ANC supporters not prepared to vote for corrupt ANC councillors and mayors, with no hope of providing competent municipal services. This indicates also that ANC supporters were reluctant to vote for opposition parties. 

It is always an emotional crisis knowingly to vote for crooks just because they are dressed in your party colours. The truth of the matter is that the ANC is still captured by crooks throughout the country. The Guptas, the Watsons and other nefarious families still control the ANC. The drop in voter support is a sign to the ANC that unless it cleans up, it will sink and be voted out of government in the next general election. It will be a positive step forward if ANC can act decisively against corruption, removing all corrupt municipal officials from office, but for now, this is a pipe dream and appears unrealistic. 

Ramaphosa was voted in with the hope that he could clean up the ANC, the state and government. The jury is still out on whether he has what it takes. Does Ramaphosa have the will to clean up the ANC? Or is Ramaphosa held handcuffed by the crooks to a level where he is paralysed? Only time will tell. But one thing is clear: if we reach the 2024 general elections with the ANC as corrupt as it is now, the party will lose the ability to govern. The signs are there for those with eyes to see.

As we await the report of Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s commission of inquiry following the revelations by the former Prasa chief executive officer, Lucky Montana, on how state-owned enterprises have been milked by various ANC ministers in the past to support ANC projects, it is now clear why the ANC cannot afford to pay the salaries of its own staff members. The ANC is historically an organisation of volunteers; it was never meant to support lavish lifestyles for its members or leaders. In the apartheid era, the ANC was more about service to the people than splashing wealth all over the place, such as at the Guptas’ infamous wedding at Sun City.

ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile must go back to the drawing board on how to fund the ANC in a sustainable way. How many salaried employees does the party need at its various offices? How many salaried employees can Luthuli House feed without relying on rampant corruption and sucking on the state-owned enterprises such as Eskom and Prasa?

The bankruptcy of state-owned enterprises has led to ANC bankruptcy — all these exposures thanks to Deputy Chief Justice Zondo’s inquiry commission. Accountability is beginning to rear its head. The time for free looting, without consequences, is gradually being phased out. The ANC has to smell the coffee. Now is the time for renewal or extinction.

The ANC has lost elections because of corruption and incompetence, not because of its policies. ANC policies remain sound, but corruption, incompetence and failure to implement the policies have led to this decline in support. It will get worse unless something dramatic happens in ANC policy before the 2024 general elections.

The elections were for the ANC to lose rather than for opposition parties to make inroads. None of the opposition parties has better policies for the country. It is thanks to rampant corruption inside the ANC for their increase in seats. The rot inside ANC is its single most effective own goal and is responsible for the decline of support in all provinces. If the causes of the decline in support are ignored and not addressed, this will lead to the ANC losing power in the next general elections.

To rescue the ANC will need implementation of the recommendations of the Zondo commission report, the appointment of efficient police management, a competent National Prosecuting Authority and Special Investigating unit and — last — internal electoral reforms inside the ANC. 

The introduction of One ANC member One Vote for electing leaders will bring about lateral transformation inside the party and initiate the process of renewal. Internal cleaning of the ANC can only begin after the scrapping of the branch delegate conference format for electing leaders, in which delegates representing 2% of ANC members elect leaders for the 98% of members left at home, with the 2% of delegates wide open to corruption and bullying. This is the critical stage for ANC capture.

Unless it scraps the branch delegates conference format, there is no hope of rescuing the ANC in the short term.

Let the members decide, not delegates. Democratic reform is the key. DM

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All Comments 14

  • In October, 1996, barely 2 years after the ANC took power the New York Times published an article headed : ” South Africa Scandal over ‘ Sarafina’ spotlights Corruption in the ANC “. Various examples of egregious corruption were noted, : Boesak , Winnie Mandela and so forth.
    a quot was given from one Cyril Ramaphosa : ” the ANC is pained immensely by stories by stories of corruption. We are highly conscious of the damage that corruption does to a party and a country ”
    Has he been asleep for the past 25 years and are South Africans still taken in by this charlatan ?
    at the time the article was written the ANC government was busy negotiating probably the most corrupt contract in the history of the arms industry – no mean feat in an industry where corruption is the order of the day.
    The fact is that corruption and the desire to loot is baked into the DNA of the ANC. It is preposterous to suggest that it can be reformed.
    The sort of drivel that appears in the above article and is repeated ad nauseam is no surprise when coming from a loyal cadre.
    What does evoke astonishment is that many of the most vocal and forthright critics of the apartheid regime are utterly supine when this sort of nonsense is published.

    • CR has spent the last 25 years living off OPM – Other Peoples Money. I’m sure he is reminded of that every time he tries to clamp down on corrupt comrades.

  • The ANC is a crime syndicate, not a political party. Last night we heard “Kaunda is laughed at when he says the municipality will fight fraud and corruption.” because people know this.

    How are the crooks in the syndicate going to be rehabilitated to suddenly be educated, hard-working, competent, moral, selfless servants of the people? Surely if the ANC gets this right it will be more of a breakthrough in criminal rehabilitation, which the world does need so is important, than a dramatic cleanup of the political party.

    • Completely agree, I think what will happen now is that the looting will intensify, as they realise that the gravy train is slowly coming to a halt. And for Mr Makgoale to say that the ANC policy’s are not the problem is incorrect, as EWC, BBE and cadre deployment are all stifling to the economy and hence exacerbate many of SA’s social ills.

  • Cyril has shown that it is impossible to renew the ANC. Just look at the COVID looting under Cyril’s watch and his acceptance in key leadership positions cadres publicly tainted by looting and corruption. The winning of eThekwini by the ANC is a blessing in disguise for the country. This is the only metro of financial substance that the ANC will control. The looting will be at stratospheric proportions and will mobilise even more ANC supporters to withdraw their votes and maybe even persuade them to vote for opposition parties come 2024.

  • Interesting analysis Omry. Some good points, and some perhaps less so. My take on the recent municipal elections differs slightly from many others. Whilst the biggest story of the elections is undoubtedly the decline in support for the ANC, with aspects like corruption, service delivery, etc. being touted as reasons. Yes, the ANC has dropped to less than 47% of the vote, but overall it still was the biggest party by a long shot. Like many others, I hope that the slide will continue leading up to the national elections in 2024. But there are dynamics at play which makes any forecast very difficult. The most significant fact is that the support for the big 3 parties dropped from 89% in 2016, to 77.5% in 2021. The ANC from 53.9% to 45.6% (an effective drop of 20%). The DA dropped from 26.9% support to just 21.6% (also an effective drop of 20%). A marginal increase for the EFF.
    I think that the biggest surprise of the recent elections, is that the support of the smaller parties have increased from 11% to 22.5%. That is huge. And ActionSA only took something like 2.3% of the vote, albeit only running in 6 municipalities.
    I personally believe all three big parties are in serious trouble. It is just possibly that many voters simply do not trust “The Establisment”. It is not just corruption, as that factor is not at play with the DA. Arrogance maybe? If Ramaphosa “self-correct”, (credible appointments, policing, corruption, etc.) this whole future scenario can change overnight

  • Love the hilarity of this contradiction:
    “ANC policies remain sound, but corruption, incompetence and failure to implement the policies have led to this decline in support. It will get worse unless something dramatic happens in ANC policy before the 2024 general elections.”

  • The only question that I have after trying to read this drivel is what can ordinary citizens do to expedite the extinction of the ANC. My view is that starving them of cash must lead them to crash and burn and that would require a real leader that can rally widespread support.

    • Hi Charles, just a question (but you can leave it unanswered). Your hatred for the ANC and CR is very obvious, which I share. But then, which party do you support? Me?….no-one in the recent elections, but would have supported ActionSA if I was living in Gauteng.

      • Hi Coen, for better or worse I’ve stuck with the DA because I believe they can do a good job at local level. I’m not really a Herman Mashaba fan as I don’t think he has staying power when things get tough. However, if he does stay to make a go of things he could well form an alliance with the DA to make a stronger more representative political formation (as they like to call it now). I was sympathetic to the ANC at one stage but I’ve lost all respect for them.

  • I disagree with the statement that “ANC policies remain sound” – Cadre deployment and BEE are some of the root causes of the system crashing