Stop bick­er­ing, work for change

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

More car­toons on­line at Naledi Pan­dor MP is Min­is­ter of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy

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.

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