Cyril’s 2020: ANC or SA?


The Citizen (KZN) - - Front Page - Brian Sokutu – bri­[email protected]­ti­

With the rul­ing party still di­vided by Jacob Zuma-era fac­tion­al­ism, Ramaphosa will be ex­pected to do a bal­anc­ing act be­tween party is­sues and what is in the na­tional in­ter­est when he speaks in Kim­ber­ley at the party’s up­com­ing 108th an­niver­sary, an ex­pert says.

Jacob Zuma fall­out still haunt­ing the party faith­ful.

Lead­ing an ANC that has not fully re­cov­ered from the im­pact of Jacob Zuma-era fac­tion­al­ism, Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa is ex­pected to push for party unity, while also ad­dress­ing the coun­try’s so­cioe­co­nomic chal­lenges, when ad­dress­ing the ANC 108th an­niver­sary and Jan­uary 8 State­ment in Kim­ber­ley next week­end.

Com­ment­ing on the up­com­ing event that will see tens of thousands of ANC sup­port­ers de­scend on the North­ern Cape – one of the coun­try’s most im­pov­er­ished prov­inces – Univer­sity of South Africa’s professor of in­ter­na­tional pol­i­tics Ka­rina van Wyk said Ramaphosa would be ex­pected to do “a bal­anc­ing act be­tween party is­sues and what is in the na­tional in­ter­est”.

“While, his­tor­i­cally, the Jan­uary 8 State­ment has been about how the party plans to find a way for­ward on key po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic is­sues, now that the ANC has been in govern­ment for over two decades, it has be­come a pre­cur­sor for the State of the Na­tion Ad­dress (Sona). This, in it­self, makes it im­por­tant enough for the world to pay at­ten­tion.

“It is an im­por­tant event at which Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa will set the tone on what to ex­pect in Sona. He is ex­pected to touch on a myr­iad is­sues that face all South Africans, re­gard­less of po­lit­i­cal party af­fil­i­a­tion or ide­o­log­i­cal per­sua­sion.

“These in­clude how govern­ment in­tends ad­dress­ing na­tional co­he­sion, equitable ac­cess to re­sources, so­ci­etal ills, the land re­dis­tri­bu­tion is­sue, eco­nomic growth, at­tract­ing more for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment and the poor state of SA’s sta­te­owned en­ter­prises – Eskom in par­tic­u­lar,” said Van Wyk.

“Re­gain­ing in­vestor con­fi­dence and mak­ing South Africa an at­trac­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion, would be among el­e­ments in the speech that for­eign diplo­mats and busi­ness will look for­ward to hear,” she said.

Re­flect­ing on ANC in­ter­nal po­lit­i­cal un­der­cur­rents, Van Wyk said: “We should all re­mem­ber that in­ter­nal con­tes­ta­tion in the bat­tle for strate­gic lead­er­ship po­si­tions in any po­lit­i­cal party is not some­thing unique to the ANC.

“In any po­lit­i­cal party, there are very strong per­son­al­i­ties who wish to achieve things for their com­mon good, ca­reers, ide­ol­ogy and strong am­bi­tion to lead.

“The ANC has still not fully shaken off rem­nants from the Zuma fall­out.

“The pres­i­dent is fully aware of these party dy­nam­ics – con­scious of the lat­est trend within the ANC that has seen lead­ers be­ing re­moved.

“Hence, his chal­lenge is about bal­anc­ing mat­ters be­tween party and na­tional in­ter­est.

“What has made him in­ef­fec­tive in ser­vice de­liv­ery is that he is oversee­ing the mend­ing of party cracks caused by op­pos­ing fac­tions, some­thing that be­comes a hin­drance to him re­al­is­ing his agenda in govern­ment.

“While ap­peas­ing the party, he is also ex­pected to play a role of be­com­ing a lead­ing cat­a­lyst in at­tract­ing in­vest­ment into the coun­try.”

Ramaphosa would also use the event to kick-start the cam­paign for the up­com­ing lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions.”

While the ANC event was ex­pected to cre­ate a busi­ness boom in the North­ern Cape – a prov­ince faced with a huge unem­ploy­ment, poverty, drought and high lev­els of foetal al­co­hol syn­drome – Van Wyk said any eco­nomic boost would be “sym­bolic”.

“Busi­nesses like bed and break­fasts – cater­ing and other small busi­nesses – are likely to ben­e­fit dur­ing this month.

“Pro­vin­cial ANC lead­ers and com­mu­ni­ties will cer­tainly use the pres­ence of high-pro­file party lead­ers, who will in­clude min­is­ters, to draw at­ten­tion to re­al­i­ties of drought and farm­ers not get­ting enough as­sis­tance,” said Van Wyk.

Ac­cord­ing to pro­vin­cial ANC spokesper­son Naledi Gaosekwe the event, which will take place on Jan­uary 11, will be held at the Tafel Lager Park Sta­dium (for­merly Absa Sta­dium), with an ad­ja­cent field serv­ing as an over­flow venue to avert in­ci­dents of stam­ped­ing.

“Gi­ant screens will be erected in both venues to re­lay vi­su­als and au­dio mes­sages from speak­ers, who will in­clude al­liance lead­ers. Gates will open at 7am and the pres­i­dent will de­liver the speech at 10.30am,” said Gaosekwe.

The pres­i­dent is fully aware of these party dy­nam­ics

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