Zuma sends SA down tubes

The Herald (South Africa) - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma has been at the helm of the coun­try’s back­ward eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment for nearly 10 years.

In­stead of im­prov­ing the lives of all ci­ti­zens, through so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, his lead­er­ship and govern­ment have epit­o­mised a failed, sham­bolic and to­tally chaotic state, in ev­ery as­pect: pol­i­tics, eco­nomics and so­cial as­pects.

With more than nine mil­lion peo­ple un­em­ployed, nearly 18 mil­lion on so­cial grants, reign­ing law­less­ness and on­go­ing threats to in­vestors, the chances of achiev­ing any eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment un­der his lead­er­ship be­come dim­mer and dim­mer by the day.

The cur­rent state of af­fairs is a bit­ter pill to swal­low for any­one who trusted the ANC as leader of so­ci­ety.

The ANC waged a long strug­gle to end apartheid, a strug­gle cor­rectly viewed by the whole world as a just strug­gle, but the party is cur­rently viewed as be­ing in ca­hoots with se­ri­ous crime/crim­i­nals.

Is it not ironic that that very ANC that used to be the paragon of strong po­lit­i­cal morals and ethics, to­day is per­ceived to be be­hind the gloomi­est pe­riod since in­de­pen­dence?

Is it not a shame that ANC lead­ers are al­leged to be in the fore­front of in­cit­ing vi­o­lence to de­flect peo­ple’s at­ten­tion from their gross weak­nesses, such as the killings in the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, es­pe­cially in KwaZulu-Natal?

The lead­er­ship of the ANC is pre­oc­cu­pied with a nar­row and self-serv­ing mis­sion, that is se­cur­ing po­lit­i­cal po­si­tions to se­cure their per­sonal wel­fare and the wel­fare of fam­ily mem­bers and cronies.

If lead­ers are not elected, the eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties are shut to them.

The ANC has de­gen­er­ated into noth­ing other than a chan­nel for po­lit­i­cal pa­tron­age and a con­ve­nient step­ping stone to self-en­rich­ment, in­stead of be­ing the in­stru­ment of our peo­ple’s eco­nomic and so­cial ad­vance­ment.

One of the key ob­jec­tives that the ANC set it­self to achieve was to de­velop the whole coun­try for all its peo­ple and to do away with all forms of racial dis­crim­i­na­tion.

De­vel­op­ment in sim­ple lan­guage meant that the ANC wanted to elim­i­nate poverty, in­equal­ity and un­em­ploy­ment, as a sine qua non for a sta­ble and pros­per­ous na­tion.

Un­der Zuma, we saw no de­vel­op­ment in a clas­si­cal de­vel­op­men­tal sense, in­stead we saw an up­surge of the triple problems of poverty, un­em­ploy­ment and in­equal­ity.

The ANC al­ways spoke of a demo­cratic rule that em­braced the idea of rec­ti­fy­ing the in­jus­tices in­flicted by apartheid on peo­ple’s lives.

Cur­rent sta­tis­tics from Stat­sSA show that in­equal­ity, poverty and un­em­ploy­ment have dras­ti­cally in­creased, dou­bled un­der Zuma’s rule.

A de­cline in one or all of the three problems would mean the coun­try was mak­ing pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment.

A “de­vel­op­men­tal state” can­not rely on mere per capita in­come in­crease.

That is a false mea­sure, in the con­text of a de­vel­op­ing na­tion.

Dur­ing this pe­riod, Zuma presided over un­em­ploy­ment that sky­rock­eted, and law­less­ness and an­ar­chy have be­come the or­der of the day, wan­ton loot­ing has taken place with im­punity and the na­tions is on ten­ter­hooks as it waits for a new scan­dal to rock his govern­ment.

It is un­for­tu­nate that this should hap­pen in a coun­try that was sup­posed to rec­tify the de­lib­er­ate un­der­de­vel­op­ment of black peo­ple by suc­ces­sive op­pres­sive regimes.

How is it pos­si­ble that a pres­i­dent, who is sur­rounded by peo­ple who are ed­u­cated in the eco­nomics of de­vel­op­ment, could veer so badly off course?

South Africa is cur­rently fac­ing the most dif­fi­cult chal­lenges since the dawn of democ­racy.

The big­gest problems are the de­cel­er­a­tion of the econ­omy, lack of po­lit­i­cal di­rec­tion, and the fo­men­ta­tion of so­cial strife and gen­eral desta­bil­i­sa­tion of so­ci­ety.

Th­ese so­cio-eco­nomic con­di­tions have be­come the engine that drives law­less­ness, an­ar­chy and na­tional dis­in­te­gra­tion.

All of the above hap­pens at a time when the rul­ing elite is pro­duc­ing daily highly am­pli­fied slo­gans such as rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, rev­o­lu­tion­ary de­vel­op­men­tal state and a host of other terms that sound very no­ble, but mean noth­ing to those who mouth them.

From the start, the lead­er­ship of Nel­son Man­dela sought to deal with equal­is­ing our so­ci­ety, end­ing all forms of dis­crim­i­na­tion and cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties on an equal ba­sis for all ci­ti­zens of the coun­try.

Na­tional de­vel­op­ment was at the heart of their ob­jec­tive.

This in their minds was to be done through the Re­con­struc­tion and De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (RDP).

Through the RDP, the ob­jec­tive of equal­ity was top of the agenda in Man­dela’s pro­gramme.

Equal­ity was viewed as an im­por­tant el­e­ment in South Africa’s de­vel­op­ment.

In­equal­ity in South Africa’s case was ob­jec­tion­able in who­ever’s or what­ever re­li­gion or racist and eth­i­cal stan­dards one uses.

Man­dela and his lead­er­ship were aware that the on­go­ing in­equal­ity in our coun­try would fan all forms of racial, eth­nic, re­li­gious, class, re­gional and many other ten­sions. ANC mem­bers, this time around, pos­sess an op­por­tu­nity of elect­ing some­one from among them who will be able to grap­ple with the chal­lenges of the na­tion and be able to rec­tify them.

Those who present them­selves to lead the coun­try from the ANC ought to tell us how they are go­ing to de­velop our na­tion, at­tract both for­eign and do­mes­tic in­vestors, grow our econ­omy, pro­mote so­cial co­he­sion, and deal de­ci­sively with cor­rup­tion, crime, state cap­ture and law­less­ness.

It is my view that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in her days be­fore she was du­bi­ously “de­ployed” to the African Union, could have been eas­ily coun­tered as one who could per­form this duty.

How­ever, her de­ploy­ment to the AU, per­ceived to have the Gup­tas’ fin­ger­prints, is some­thing that seems to sug­gest she would be at the Union Build­ings to serve the Gupta project.


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