Pub­lic de­bates right way to go

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS -

IF SOUTH Africa is to be­come the suc­cess­ful coun­try we all de­sire, it is essen­tial all con­tenders for lead­er­ship pub­licly de­bate each other.

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says she will fight cor­rup­tion, but these are empty words as she says noth­ing about the charges fac­ing Ja­cob Zuma, nor the ju­di­cial com­mis­sion of in­quiry into state cap­ture.

Cyril Ramaphosa is more vo­cal but gives the im­pres­sion of walk­ing on eggshells.

Mathews Phosa, an in­de­pen­dent thinker and straight talker, is the most com­pe­tent, ca­pa­ble and eth­i­cal of all the ANC con­tenders. We need him and the oth­ers to start de­bat­ing each other as soon as pos­si­ble.

The lead­ers of the op­po­si­tion par­ties should also chal­lenge the ANC front-run­ners to pub­lic de­bates. They must make it clear the next elec­tion will be fought on two is­sues: the econ­omy and the com­mis­sion of in­quiry.

We are not fools. Even poor peo­ple can un­der­stand the Zuma fac­tion’s eco­nomic poli­cies will quickly de­stroy South Africa. Ramaphosa’s fac­tion will con­tinue the mis­er­able eco­nomic growth of the past 24 years, wide­spread poverty and 27% un­em­ploy­ment. Mod­ern eco­nom­ics is not rocket science, and there are mod­els of suc­cess­ful economies.

Any dem­a­gogue ha­rangu­ing au­di­ences with failed eco­nomic poli­cies can be eas­ily ex­posed in pub­lic de­bates so that South Africans can be prop­erly en­gaged and ed­u­cated on the is­sues. Op­po­si­tion par­ties must be brave. It should be easy to ex­pose the many mis­takes and failed poli­cies of the ANC. For too long the ANC has re­lied on slo­gans, buzz words and vil­i­fi­ca­tion.

As far as the in­quiry is con­cerned, op­po­si­tion par­ties must make it clear it must be dif­fer­ent from pre­vi­ous ANC in­quiries, which dragged on, cost a for­tune and achieved noth­ing. If the ANC thinks it will get away with an­other trick like that, the new govern­ment should ap­point a com­mis­sion with these at­tributes:

Mod­ern eco­nom­ics is not rocket science

Brian Massey Joburg

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