Economics/markets and factional politics don’t mix. The man from Nkandla is running riot and appears to be an astute master of factional ANC internal politics. His benefactors are triumphant whilst the country is economically stumbling. It is also blurred as to what economic trajectory we are pursuing. Is it radical economic transformation or national development plan (NDP)? We know all about the NDP as an economic plan for the country, but it looks like another forgotten document gathering dust. The recent president appetite for radical economic transformation looks like a war room strategy to counter the EFF political message. The country appears economical lost with less than 1% growth compounding our economic woes. On the other hand the ANCYL and ANCWL are coming with all sorts of conspiracies and deliberately ignoring the overt Zuma liabilities. Downgrades are coming thick and fast from rating agencies.  So far, the ANC seem hopeless and happy with the falling rand because it affects white monopoly capital and western imperialist. They have been in power for over two decades without any meaningful attempt to transform the economy; surely they must take some responsibility. Not even the fundamental struggle matter of landlessness is adequately addressed! To blame foreign agencies and others does not real help their credibility. The fallout with the markets and the subsequent downgrades by the rating agencies signals a new challenge for the ANC. As an organization the ANC should be worried because their main constituency remains in junk status and largely unemployed. The struggle political jargon has run out of steam. The country’s economic growth remains poor and no signs of any economic growth in sight. The ANC must find something cogent to tell their supporters or 2019 will represent another collapse of a once glorious liberation movement.

ANC’s organizational structure has collapsed, hence the dominance of a destructive Zuma led faction. EFF commander in chief Julius Malema predicted that ANC’s general secretary Gwede Mantashe cannot be taken seriously when he says something.  He even boldly labelled him a coward. Whether Mantashe is a coward or not, he has no choice but to somersault. Mantashe and all the anti-Zuma top six members never rose organically within the ANC to Luthuli house. They were jettisoned in a Zuma slate in Mangaung to deal with a Kgalema Motlanthe presidential challenge to Zuma. They don’t have numbers in the NEC to seriously challenge Zuma. Consequently, any anti-Zuma stance without numbers will be quickly squashed. They can take a stand, challenge Zuma and start a fierce presidential challenge in the incoming December elective conference. So far no signs that the Zuma faction will be challenged and look set for a Zuma certified next ANC leader. Is also possible that they chose to put their tails between their legs and fight from within. If that’s their plan, am afraid they are running out of time. Organizationally, the ruling party has collapsed.  The integrity committee and can only disciplined and punished anyone but those in a dominate faction. This organizational collapse also reflected in the parliament. The lack of rationality and logic in favour of voting/numbers might win impeachment, no confidence votes but will definitely loose public support. All rational capable ANC members found themselves dwarfed by the relentless Zuma sympathizers. It has collapsed all ANC collective functionaries. What Zuma wants, Zuma gets, whether in the ANC or within the state.  It does not matter at what cost. The rand can fall. SACP, COSATU can GO. ANCYL/ANCWL and MKMVA remains resolute behind Zuma but without cogent reasons. Organizational integrity and sustainability is secondary to Msholozi and his eating cabal. The broad church has crumbled. Self-correction and renewal is impractical when members are structural or factional entrapped. Despite all its glorious history and documents like through the eye of the needle, the ANC ended up with Zuma in charge. The party also failed to modernize from its erstwhile exile/underground lobbying style. No space for non-factional leaders with leadership ambitions to grow within the party. The transition from being a liberation giant to a democratic governing movement has not gone without looting. The incoming ANC elective conference in December is the only hope for the ANC to regain its former glory and only the prisoners of hope still believe.

The constitutional prerogative of the president to appoint and disappoint MUST came with rationality and put the country first. Should the president work with his preferred cabinet team or his party’s team, is the president in charge or the party is in charge, who reports to the other? To me is a disjuncture that we vote for a party but the president can decide to ignore his party through political manipulation and put the country in distress. Is strange to note that the ANC looks out of sorts and ready to relinquish power. The ANC looks useless and hopeless. The courts are hopeless because of the separation of powers. Basically the constitution permits the president to appoint and disappoint without reason. Granted, the president must work with his ideal cabinet team, but it must be in consultation with his party. In my view, the constitutional prerogative of the president must be informed by the policies and ideologies of the party he/she represents. Surely, the latest prerogative to reshuffle was informed by factional thinking at the expense of the ANC and the country. Maybe a factional immune reshuffling committee will be a good idea after all. How possible that a reshuffling done with “efficiency and effectiveness” in mind leads to such economic meltdown!! The party’s plan (NDP) never featured in the reshuffling fiasco. It remains to be seen as to what informed the president move! To be fair to the president, he did ask – as to who comes first between the ANC and the country? In his mind, the ANC came first!

By Sivodlo Silombo

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

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