What is renewal for the ANC? Renewal means reform, doing things in a new and different way; running the government and the state in a different and better way than is happening at present. It means ensuring the appointment of competent members of the public to government and public-sector institutions.
Renewal happens when the directors-general are appointed on merit, as are board members of state-owned enterprises; when ministers are held accountable for their actions. Overall, there needs to be accountability for wrongdoing of all in authority. Only then can we start to see improvements in the country. At present, all this is observed in the breach.
We need police who are not caught up on the wrong side of the law – they’re supposed to be enforcing; a police management that is competent, that does not misplace dockets, that properly investigates fraud and criminal cases and arrests criminals, leading to their successful prosecution and imprisonment. We need a crime intelligence department that is competent, so that sabotage, riots, truck burning and cash-in-transit heists are nipped in the bud.
We need a Parliament whose “honourable” members are people of integrity and not people associated with State Capture and shady deals.
Renewal will happen when ANC public officials pass stringent lifestyle audits. This would include the President, Cabinet Ministers, all the way down to ward councillors. We have to return to the moral values that once made the ANC a glorious organisation. All those who bring the party into disrepute must not be allowed to serve in state and other public institutions until they are cleared. Failing this, the disciplinary committee is not worth the name.
As it is now, the Integrity Commission – which is supposed to be the custodian of the values of ANC – does not have adequate power and authority to effectively discipline errant members. It can merely recommend to the National Executive Committee (NEC), while the NEC itself consists of questionable people without integrity. How can it help to send integrity cases to be arbitrated by the same people who are implicated? This will not help renew the ANC, or straighten out the state and the government.
ANC renewal requires a complete overhaul of its leadership. Ways of investigating the possibility of getting everyone to resign and reapply for membership should perhaps be considered – everyone from the President down to the rank and file at branch level.
As a minimum, we need to introduce new methods of electing candidates to national and provincial parliaments. Candidates should be chosen for the respective constituencies, on the basis of one-member-one-vote, by ANC members in that constituency, from the bottom up, not from the top down.
The ANC renewal in Parliament must start with the complete removal from the candidate list and from government and state offices, of all those implicated in the State Capture Inquiry report. The report is a legal document above the disciplinary committee and integrity commission of ANC. If we are to renew the ANC, all party officials who are implicated must be removed without hesitation, otherwise it will just be lip service.
The South African public must see credible leaders, none of whom should be implicated by the Zondo and other commissions.
For now, only the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the Ministry of Home Affairs show any sign of hope and improvement. Instead, the Ministry of Public Enterprises is looking for partnerships or privatisation, after the state-owned enterprises have been looted and bankrupted, while while the Competition Tribunal has given the green light for the sale of a 51% stake in South African Airways to the Takatso consortium. What is next? DM