Stop bickering, work for change
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RECENT statements by several senior ANC leaders warning of an election loss in 2019 are a worrying expression of defeatism and inadequate boldness to decisively confront the deep challenges confronting the movement. What message are these leaders conveying to the millions who have supported the movement? In fact, the millions who dared to believe in a new, transformed South Africa led by the ANC.
The historic mission of pursuing development, fundamentally altering our society to one in which unity, democracy, non-racialism and non-sexism thrive, has not been achieved. The movement cannot leave the national democratic revolution half-baked.
The leaders who are so outspoken would do better to indicate the steps they will take to put the people first and ensure that our obligation, which is to serve with integrity, commitment, and hard work is fully executed.
The sentiments of defeatism and helplessness are not worthy of leaders of such a great movement. It is true there are many failings, and we as leaders lost the plot more than once. Let us correct that by committing to action instead of hand-twisting mea culpas.
There are several things we should do. First, put the ANC first, not individuals. It is the people’s organisation, not ours.
We were chosen to lead, not to destroy the organisation. In fact, since it is a voluntary organisation, we as leaders cannot close it down: we must strengthen it.
Second, assert that we must win in 2019 to right our wrongs.
Third, commit actively to rooting out corruption through three decisive actions:
Essentially, the ANC has to restore its credibility in the eyes and hearts of the people of South Africa and of the international community, who were all inspired by OR Tambo and Nelson Mandela.
This will happen only if we commit to our constitution and end the bizarre notion that the constitution was developed for the ANC and not for the nation.
We must end the unseemly public bickering among ourselves, as it doesn’t inspire confidence. The sound bites of self-adulation may look and feel good as we make our way to December, but they are sordid and self-serving and don’t convince us of solid leaders ready to tackle the many complex problems confronting South Africa.
The people are listening and watching; they want to hear and feel that their concerns matter and will receive attention. Millions are waiting for opportunities to earn a livelihood, for reduced income inequality, for increased bursary values, new and growing enterprises, decent human settlements, robust innovation and real fights against crime and corruption led by honest, courageous leaders who do noble things, not just talk about them.
So, dear beloved ANC and our leaders, the work to be done is just too immense for you to be defeatist at this point in our history. Prepare and work for change and make sure you do your duty, which is to ensure victory in 2019.
DUTY-BOUND: The writer calls on all leaders in the ANC to put away self-serving attitudes and start looking after the people.