Zuma will hardly be re­mem­bered as a pres­i­dent who made im­por­tant de­ci­sions

Finweek English Edition - - EDITOR’S NOTE - TOMYMIND PEET KRUGER

CAN THE ANC do what its leader has been re­fus­ing to do? Can it adopt a clear direc­tion in or­der to fight the “money sick­ness” in the ANC?

At the pre­vi­ous con­fer­ence in Polok­wane, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma took over the party’s lead­er­ship with the sup­port of a coali­tion of those op­pos­ing Pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki. There were warn­ings at the time that the Zuma group wasn’t re­ally uni­fied by an al­ter­na­tive vi­sion with the en­ergy to run the coun­try.

Zuma will hardly be re­mem­bered as a pres­i­dent who made im­por­tant de­ci­sions. He’ll be re­mem­bered as the man who was in con­trol when the ANC was al­lowed to col­lapse into what he him­self de­scribed last week as avarice, hunger for power and a lack of dis­ci­pline.

Read on page 26 how Zuma has al­ready been mulling over an im­por­tant piece of leg­is­la­tion for two months. His weak lead­er­ship has given the SA Mu­nic­i­pal Work­ers’ Union the power to throw its weight around and to block leg­is­la­tion aimed at erad­i­cat­ing corruption and poor man­age­ment.

Over the past few weeks the coun­try – and the ANC it­self – has be­come in­creas­ingly frus­trated by Zuma’s timid ap­proach to the mil­i­tant and ir­re­spon­si­ble lead­er­ship of the ANC Youth League. In Zuma’s Polok­wane coali­tion the trade unions and the Youth League sat in op­pos­ing camps. Both are now try­ing their ut­most to ex­ploit the gap in the power vac­uum.

How­ever, both trade union fed­er­a­tion Cosatu’s ap­proach of pro­tect­ing work­ers from competition and the Youth League’s mut­ter­ings about na­tion­al­i­sa­tion will cost this coun­try dearly in terms of lost op­por­tu­ni­ties for eco­nomic growth.

FINWEEK joins mil­lions of South Africans in mourn­ing the death of Pro­fes­sor Kader As­mal. He was a val­ued colum­nist in this mag­a­zine who earned re­spect for his prin­ci­pled views.

As a Cabi­net Min­is­ter in the early years of South Africa’s new democ­racy, he was known as some­one who didn’t hes­i­tate to tackle large projects with en­thu­si­asm. For many of those – such as his in­tro­duc­tion of out­comes-based ed­u­ca­tion – he was se­verely crit­i­cised, and still is even to­day.

Un­like many of the gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers who fol­lowed him, As­mal’s in­tegrity was above re­proach. What he did, he didn’t do for his own ben­e­fit but in the firm be­lief it would pro­vide a bet­ter fu­ture for the peo­ple of SA, es­pe­cially the least priv­i­leged. He was an ide­al­ist and a demo­crat.

We ex­tend our sin­cere con­do­lences to his wife and fam­ily.

pkruger@me­dia24.com

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