It will take a revo­lu­tion to dis­lodge ANC

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION&ANALYSIS - FAROUK ARAIE JO­HAN­NES­BURG

THE PRO­FOUND ar­ti­cle by Business Re­port ed­i­tor El­lis Mnyandu ti­tled SA just wants to make you say ‘Cry, the Beloved Coun­try’ (Business Re­port, Novem­ber 17) fol­lows.

The chances of any new or es­tab­lished po­lit­i­cal party un­seat­ing the ANC are ex­tremely re­mote. The ANC is a cor­rupt po­lit­i­cal jug­ger­naut, that com­pletely dom­i­nates the po­lit­i­cal land­scape. Power cor­rupts and ab­so­lute power cor­rupts ab­so­lutely as Lord Ac­ton fa­mously ob­served.

The mul­ti­ple scan­dals am­ply demon­strate the abuses of power that re­sult from a di­vided op­po­si­tion, a cul­ture of medi­ocrity in gov­ern­ment, the bank­ruptcy of the pol­icy process and ul­ti­mately the dis­en­gage­ment of cit­i­zens.

We as South Africans should be con­cerned about per­pet­ual gov­ern­ment by one party. There are at least five in­ter­re­lated rea­sons: the ten­dency of un­chal­lenged au­thor­ity 1) to abuse its power; 2) to de­velop a cul­ture of medi­ocrity lead­ing to de­cline; 3) to sink into a paral­y­sis or bank­ruptcy of pol­icy; 4) to rule by clique; and as a con­se­quence of the above, 5) to lead cit­i­zens to con­clude that there is lit­tle point in their en­gage­ment in the po­lit­i­cal process.

The chief dan­ger of such om­nipo­tence is abuse of of­fice.

This cor­rup­tion of the mind has been de­scribed as the ar­ro­gance of power. The myr­iad of less vis­i­ble abuses of gov­ern­ment au­thor­ity that hap­pen ev­ery day in South Africa, and against which the vic­tims have no ef­fec­tive re­course what­so­ever, should con­cern ev­ery cit­i­zen who be­lieves in free­dom and the rule of law.

The dev­as­tat­ing ex­am­ples of our coun­try’s de­cline un­der this gov­ern­ment are the drop in our rel­a­tive pur­chas­ing power and our stan­dard of liv­ing, and the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of our health-care sys­tem. In the ab­sence of se­ri­ous op­po­si­tion, the ANC has no in­cen­tive to ex­cel­lence or in­no­va­tion.

The real dan­ger is paral­y­sis of pol­icy. In the ab­sence of new peo­ple with new ideas, pol­icy gen­er­a­tion be­comes unimag­i­na­tive and stag­nant. The ANC at this point in time is po­lit­i­cally im­preg­nable. It took a revo­lu­tion to bring it into power, it will take a revo­lu­tion to dis­lodge it from power.

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