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The stark choice facing the ANC — renewal or coalition

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

If the ANC fails to renew itself, it will have no option but to form a coalition after next year’s general election. Voters are weary of ANC corruption and incompetence.

If the ANC loses power in the general election next year, there will be benefits for South Africa, but also minuses. The benefits are that the country will no longer be looted and the corrupt ANC leadership will no longer have free rein. The disadvantages are that even if an ethical ANC leadership comes into being in future, it will not be able to make the substantial reforms needed by the majority of the South African population.

To rescue and renew the ANC will require, as a minimum, the removal from government and state posts of all those implicated by the Zondo Commission and the VBS Great Bank Heist report, and all those involved in the eThekwini solid waste project and Limpopo Giyani water project. All those implicated in fraudulent and scandalous activities must also be removed from ANC general election candidate lists.

The journey of ANC renewal must start with empowering ANC members to directly elect their leaders at all levels on the basis of one member, one vote. Empowerment of ANC members can only start with the right to directly elect their leaders, when the members in their respective constituencies directly elect their candidates for general elections.

Lists of candidates should only be compiled and consolidated after ANC internal elections in the constituencies in the 53 municipal regions.

The next critical step in the renewal of the ANC is lifestyle audits of all those in government and state offices, to be carried out by an independent autonomous body, failing which, unethical and corrupt officials will continue to run the state.

If the ANC fails to renew itself, it will have no option but to form a coalition after the general election. Voters are weary of ANC corruption and incompetence.

Eskom, Transnet and Prasa are poorly run, and unemployment will continue to skyrocket without reliable electricity and railway systems.

Transnet is killing the economy. Trucking queues to Durban harbour are 37km long, with ships waiting 19 days to unload. Failing ports, congested roads and the collapse of Transnet are dealing a death blow to the economy.

Only the reform of the parliamentary electoral laws can partially rescue the country from rampant corruption by ANC politicians. 

As it is, the failure of the ANC to follow these renewal steps will lead to a coalition government, and the initiative for developing South Africa will be out of the ANC’s hands.

Next year’s general elections are for the ANC to lose, and there is no credible opposition party to steer the country away from the high seas. DM

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  • Willem Boshoff says:

    The ANC will not and cannot renew and will continue to drag this country into the pits if it wins the election of form a coalition with the EFF. And the DA, far from being perfect, is a credible alternative with a track record of good governance and service delivery on municipal, metro and provincial levels, with feasible plans and policies to fix the SOE’s or provide the same services through private enterprise. But the mainstream commentators will rather cut off the country’s only realistic hope by pretending we have no options.

    • Henry Coppens says:

      Even if the ANC could fix itself, it will not, as this will terminate its path towards its NDR and acccess to the corruption trough without accountability. This is the sole purpose of it’s NDR.

    • Glyn Morgan says:

      Willem, you are 100% correct about the mainstream commentators pretensions about the country having no options. So why make the comment “And the DA, FAR FROM BEING PERFECT, is a credible alternative”? What is important is that it is a credible alternative. Every party in the history of democracy has never been “perfect”. The DA IS the best alternative.

      • Willem Boshoff says:

        The anti-DA bias is so attached to the ideas of whiteness, being right-wing and even racist that one has to disclaim any comment made in their support. Yes, no political party is perfect, but for now I just try to deliver the option without ruffling too many feathers.

      • Gavin Hillyard says:

        @ Glyn – 100% in agreement. Our only hope

    • William Nettmann says:

      Even if the DA was perfect, it doesn’t pose a credible threat to the ANC, it just doesn’t have the numbers. Rightly or wrongly, it is perceived as white party by the majority of SAfricans, and the ANC and EFF capitalise on that easily to garner support for themselves. The DA needs to do something radical, or they will never rule the country.

      • Willem Boshoff says:

        They have penchant to shoot themselves in the foot (glad HZ has stayed of X for a while) while the media tends to massively over-blow any legitimate issues. I would have loved to see an inspiring black leader at the helm of the DA but for now we have Kortbroek 2.0 who will actually make a far, far better president compared to that degenerate Zuma or New-Dusk-Ramaphosa. But the voters are still voting along racial lines, to their own detriment.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    The ANC is in its death throes.

  • Alan Watkins says:

    Take off your blinkers. Despite the incompetence and criminality of the ANC, you see the future only in terms of some kind of ANC government and you still, incredibly, believe that the ANC can be rescued, reformed and renewed.

  • John Kannemeyer says:

    The ANC does not have any moral capability left to “fix” itself. It has demonstrated that the only capability it has is to plunder state finances and create an artificial elite. The ANC does not support innovation and hard work, and goes out of its way to denigrate those who are trying to make a difference to South Africa. It is extremely bad at working with a coalition government..see Johannesburg as a classic example, so neither option that you speak of are really viable, are they?

  • Glyn Morgan says:

    How can he say that there is “no credible opposition party to steer the country away from the high seas.”? The ANC has been in government for ages with no opposition able to show their skills, good or bad. The Western Cape is run by the DA with very good effect. So there you have your credible opposition showing you what is possible without the ANC in power. The “coalition of sane parties” led by the DA could do wonders for South Africa. It is our only sane choice. Hold thumbs and be positive!

  • Denise Smit says:

    What are you going to do Omri? It seems you think the ANC/EFF have the capacity to reform. At this moment they are rigging the representative lists in Limpopo. How do you reform where cadres owe and own cadres

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    “there is no credible opposition party to steer the country away from the high seas.”

    I seriously don’t understand this statement. The DA is a truly multiracial, highly credible opposition party with a proven governance track record that anyone with eyes can see beats the ANC completely.

    If you’re looking for perfection, then Earth is not the planet for you, but if you truly want improvement then your solution is literally staring you in the face.

  • chris butters says:

    I wish DM readers could be a bit more generous. Not just endless grumbling. Here is an ANC guy, reading and participating on our hugely appreciated DM. And saying, like the Veterans, what needs to be done. Sure, it is most unlikely to happen, but these are the voices we, and the ANC, needs. Thank you Omry.

    • Lawrence Sisitka says:

      Indeed, it is great to hear such a strong voice, coming from inside the ANC. Sure, I still don’t really think that they deserve a single vote, and feel that the only certainty is that the EFF or an ANC/EFF coalition would be even worse, but from the voices I pick up on this platform the DA really does not offer a viable alternative for the majority people. It does need to get a much better understanding of how other people think, before I can trust them. Ok, it leaves me a bit out on a limb, but I have never been a fan of party politics anywhere, and believe we need a very different system if we want to actualise democracy in any real way. But, of course, that’s a very big story :)!

      • Shan Best says:

        I agree that the DA on it’s own will not get enough votes but as part of the solid Multi- Party Coalition/MPC, they now have a very strong chance of winning. BUT mainstream media must stop being so woke and grow a pair, like they are always telling Ramaphosa to do, and get behind South Africa’s only chance to save itself otherwise another Zimbabwe beckons. Informed, intelligent voters put their emotions and prejudices aside and look objectively at good track records of governance. They discount previous failed coalitions which were sabotaged by the ANC/EFF and vote for the only party with a great track record in service delivery, the DA. SURELY that’s what it’s all about? DA spends 73% of it’s budget in Cape Town on the poor. Good service delivery to the poor = competence, empathy, honesty and non-racism. Read the DA’s manifesto for more details on their policies. We dare not give the MPC a chance, our very existence relies on it.

      • Niek Joubert says:

        What really makes me feel despondent is when a competent “non-black” person is appointed in a senior position (lately Nedbank) everybody is up in arms. It is almost as if the country (and that includes some white commentators) prefer service delivery, incompetence and corruption above racial representations. Standard Bank is the only bank that got it right so far. If we look at the attempts by the DA to address the gripes above, it seems to end in self destruction (Mmusi comes to mind). Cyril is a good example of a talking head who does not really care about the wellbeing of the country. I begin to think that a 100% black leadership in the DA is not the answer.

        • Gavin Hillyard says:

          When oh when are we going to get past race? I don’t give a hoot which people are appointed to positions. The only criteria should surely be honesty, hard work and competence.

  • Grumpy Old Man says:

    Mr Makgoale, I get it! As a member of the ANC – one who continues to believe in its principles & foundations & as probably someone who has looked to live up to those ideals- it must be difficult for you to throw in the towel completely. I mean, without hope, what have any of us got & it also renders our dedication, efforts & commitment meaningless
    I am not suggesting your contribution & sacrifice has been worthless – nor that you should give up hope. What I do however believe is that you lack critical mass support within your beloved party to effect the change you so desire. That if you wish to revive & re-build that which you believe in will require that you (& like minded individuals) break away & start again!
    Good luck to you All

  • Colin Braude says:

    “The disadvantages are that even if an ethical ANC leadership comes into being in future, it will not be able to make the substantial reforms needed by the majority of the South African population.”

    Sorry! Even denying reality and assuming an ethical ANC leadership [!] the ANC will still not be able to make the needed reforms.

    Ideologically, it is committed to a Marxist / neo-Marxist centralised command & control economy. Wherever this has been tried, it has failed, resulting in either the revolutionary vanguard leaders having to imprison their worker/denizens or a migrant refugee problem as those who experience their economies want to escape to the West. In particular the two Germanies, 2 Koreas and 2 Vietnams, with similar populations & similar starting points, are real-world experiments that proved the issue. China’s economy only took off (caught up to Taiwan) when it dropped Maoism for “the colour of the cat does not matter as long as it catches the mice”. Somehow, market-led economies create more wealth & reduce poverty far better than dirigiste.

    Political parties represent interest groups. The cabinet and NEC are mostly SACP and/or former unionists. While the unions keep the ANC in power, it will not have escaped the ANC’s notice that most upmarket suburbs (presumably the people who can afford those houses are taxpayers: businesspeople/professionals) vote against them and the required reforms will suit them, too.

    Can the ANC cross its Rubicon?

  • Rob Rhodes-Houghton says:

    ANC renewal? Never going to happen. Sadly, the downward spiral will simply continue and probably accelerate. As for coalitions, just look at Johannesburg.

  • Modise M says:

    “If the ANC fails to renew itself, it will have no option but to form a coalition after next year’s general election” wrote Omry Makgoale in the Daily Maverick.

    I’m sorry to break it down you Mr Makgoale but that ship sailed a long time ago. The ANC betrayed the promise of ’94 the moment the Polokwane conference elected Jacob Zuma as its president. Never had I imagined that such a glorious organisation would elect an individual with corruption allegations hanging over his head. Surely there were other worthy individuals who were equally capable of leading the party, but it had to be him. Why? On that fateful day, the ANC ceased to exist as a leader of society. Their true colors were revealed by their actions, not their words.

  • Stanley Brighton says:

    The deep hatred in the black peoples psychic must not be under estimated and the perception to many blacks is that the DA is associated with this. The ANC is still perceived by many black people to be the ant–apartheid party. No matter how bad the ANC government is it is still seen by many as better that what apartheid government was. Until this perception can be broken it may loose the majority but will still remain the biggest party. Just look at recent byelection!

    • Glyn Morgan says:

      Wrong. The moment it loses and election it will disappear. Can you find anyone who admits to supporting the Nats? No, they have disappeared. The same will happen to ANC supporters.

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    The time for renewal is over for the ANC and it has shown that it is incapable of renewing itself and the author should be blind or not following events including the statements of Ramaphosa and Mbalula. He is also behind in terms of what has been in the news over the past week and weekend. The fact is that the ANC structures are in disarray because the tap of the proceeds of corruption to oil its machinery is slowly closing. The non payment of salaries, UIF, pensions and medical aid by the ANC is a sign of a party that has reached a crisis point. The writer seems to be oblivious to the fact that elections are won by parties with functional structures and resources. The other issue is that the leadership must have credibility and people must be able to believe in what the party says. The ANC is on a very steep decline and the coalition is not an if but when the elections results are announced the coalitions will be a reality at national and Provincial level. For free one can tell the author that the ANC is going to lose three Provinces with certainty and that is KZN, Free State and Gauteng and majorities will be greatly reduced in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West if it is not going to be amongst the dominoes. The article is for January 2022 because it is too late now.

  • Gavin Hillyard says:

    Omry there is a credible alternative to an ANC “run” government. It is the DA in coalition with like-minded political parties. The problem is that the many urban voters and those in the rural areas are , due to a lack of sources of balanced information, unaware of the true state of affairs in our country. The rural voters in particular, I believe, will simply put their crosses in the ANC block. Until such time as moderate and progressive parties can reach and educate these voters, and others, I fear it will be more of the same.

  • Louise Wilkins says:

    I don’t get why the DA isn’t communicating with the masses away from the cities. The people need to hear that they won’t lose their grants. It’s the main thing holding the DA back.
    The DA is a truly multiracial, highly credible opposition party with a proven governance track record that anyone with eyes can see beats the ANC completely.
    DA spends over 70% of it’s budget in Cape Town on the poor. They are competent, empathetic, honest and non-racist. Read the DA’s manifesto for more details on their policies.

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