2017, here we come
As we look forward to the unknown in the new year, we can only hope that we continue with what we did well this year. The vigilance and robustness of MPs in executing their primary function of holding the executive to account, as exemplified by the ad hoc committee on the SABC, will be a good carry-over to next year.
The courage and energy of civil society activism that rattled the governing party and were felt even at the Union Buildings need to be consolidated further. As the saying goes, power is not given, it is taken. It is only by continually agitating for change that we will arrive at the South Africa we want.
The same message must be directed at the thousands of ANC members who will have a big say in who might become our next president in 2019. The party will be choosing a new leadership, including a new president, in 12 months’ time. They must think carefully about their choices. Do they really want to subject us to the trauma and depression we have been through since 2007?
It is not worth repeating here that the man they dubbed a “man of the people” turned out to be the man associated with corruption and disaster.
Part of the problem was how ANC members chose the leaders, relying on predrawn lists known as slates. This meant that many good leaders were excluded because their names did not feature on a particular list. We hope that they will realise that they are not choosing only their leader, but the face of the country.
Similarly, they should be thinking of what the country needs given the pervasive inequality, unemployment and large levels of poverty. We hope that as they finalise their policy positions, job creation will be uppermost in their minds, and that they will resist the temptation to substitute sound policies with slogans. South Africa is still stuck with Zuma for the next two years.
The least the ANC can do is to provide hope that it has seen the error of its ways by making an inspired choice in leadership.