Last chance?

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

IT’S GO­ING to be an even­tful year as the ANC tries to do what so many of its staunch­est, old­est and most loyal sup­port­ers be­lieve it al­ways does: “self-cor­rect”. It won’t be easy. There is so much that the ANC has done wrong, it will be dif­fi­cult to ex­tri­cate it­self from the hole it has dug for it­self. But ex­tri­cate it­self it must if it is to avoid its worst night­mare – los­ing power.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma pre­dicted that the ANC would rule South Africa “un­til Je­sus comes”.

But now, as the ANC lurches from cri­sis to cri­sis due to the machi­na­tions of Zuma him­self, this pre­dic­tion may have to be re­worded. Or, al­ter­na­tively, Je­sus may have to come sooner than was pre­dicted.

Or course, the chances of the ANC con­tinuimg to gov­ern will de­pend to a large ex­tent on who takes over from Zuma as head of the ANC later this year.

The race has started, the ha­los have been dusted off, prom­ises are rolling off tongues – and they will get more out­ra­geous all the time as the count­down con­tin­ues and des­per­a­tion sets in.

South Africa is a coun­try in a cri­sis. Our un­em­ploy­ment num­bers run into mil­lions. Our youth can’t find jobs. Crime is out of hand. Cor­rup­tion is in­sid­i­ous. Our hous­ing short­age runs into mil­lions.

None of these prob­lems will be re­solved with a magic wand. It is go­ing to be a slow process. Our call, there­fore, to those who be­lieve they are in the run­ning to head the ANC – and from there, South Africa – is: please do not over-prom­ise. Go back to the draw­ing board and start de­vis­ing poli­cies that will start a process of re­build­ing.

On be­half of the vot­ers who have voted for the ANC in the past and who are won­der­ing whether the party de­serves an­other chance, we would like to ask a sim­ple ques­tion of all the can­di­dates: How would you use yet an­other chance to grow and de­velop our beloved coun­try?

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