It’s self-destructive to leave democracy to a party facing an existential crisis

I am curious to know how many of you share my belief that the current ANC leaders governing the country by way of their party do not want to see South Africa prosper economically and socially.

As I watched the ANC try to gain control and mayoral power in Ekurhuleni, I had a passing thought that the party was trying to create chaos in municipalities.

Mind you, the ANC lost control of metros like Ekurhuleni and Tshwane due to its leaders’ arrogant assumptions, delays in service delivery, and allowing the deterioration of facilities that serve and affect residents the most.

Read: Engineering body issues dire warning over collapsing public infrastructure

Beyond the metropolitan municipalities, the ANC government has failed to perform mandatory duties.

Incomprehensible

It is incomprehensible that a governing party would so blatantly disregard the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa by failing to provide basic needs like water and healthcare to the people.

Our democracy seems to be in deep trouble. Like you, I look in hopelessness for leaders who are intelligent, determined and willing to serve the collective whole. Men and women who will push for positive change, equal opportunity and the common good.

Currently, the ANC has no such leaders.

Even as it prepares for an elective congress in December, the candidates availing themselves via branch and province nominations are uninspiring.

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Questions we must ask …

Assuming President Cyril Ramaphosa retains his position as ANC president, will he see it as confidence in his ability to finish his terms and his presidential programmes and projects – or as a compromise between differing ANC factions to avoid a split in the party?

The fundamental question, if he wins, is how and whether Ramaphosa can be encouraged to be more forceful in dealing with his comrades’ underperformance as ministers and corruption.

Additionally, when the post-conference storm has finally passed, will the newly elected top six comprise individuals willing to preside over a governing party at the helm of a government that cares about the future of this country?

Or will the top six always be about maintaining power and prolonging their party’s lifeline?

The central challenge

The central challenge of our time right now is the intersection of corruption, bad governance and widening inequality.

Here, the emphasis is on economic inequality and the organisation of the economy itself.

The three do not only threaten our economy, they also corrode democratic gains. South Africans do not want leaders who become president by seeking a compromise between differing party factions as an avenue for renewal and progress.

Because of such a stance, we are experiencing the unfolding ANC chaos under the incumbent.

Our leaders

Consequently, we are saddled with ANC-offered leaders to be government officials who do not have any core principles and are devoid of ideas and solutions that can move the country forward.

We are witnessing with the ANC leaders currently in vogue that their resistance to change is strongest even when that change is occurring – and despite the clear signs, through protest, that citizens are unhappy with those at the helm of failing government.

Different factions in the ANC will continue to pacify the masses into voting for them based on the belief that only they can deliver a better life for all. They want their turn at the feeding trough and that government pension.

I don’t know about you, but I get nervous when I think of elections because the current administration is the most unproductive one we have had since the advent of democracy. It is paralysed by partisanship and the most puerile.

Personal interest over public interest

And I blame the tripartite alliance leadership, which has become an oxymoron.

The ANC and the SACP (South African Communist Party) have shown far more concern with the cult of the individual leader’s quest for power than for public interest and service.

Little wonder faction after faction thinks their candidate must ascend to higher office and reward those who got them there.

It is becoming increasingly evident that these politicians serve themselves ahead of the people.

It is up to us

It is time for us (the people) to directly elect leaders who will serve us because there is no hope against the current self-serving administration, a government, and a fictionalised alliance partnership.

It is a sad time for our democracy. The solution is to vote the ANC out of office, and there is no better time than the 2024 national elections. The self-serving, greedy and plutocratic approach to governing harms society and the economy.

They have become obstructionist and divisive, and South Africa cannot move forward with those kinds of leaders.

Despite the storm, we are in one of the most encouraging times.

I see that South Africans across race and gender now realise the importance of the 2024 elections in charting a different future.

I want to remind us that real change is not easy to accomplish, but we must act and not just agitate for it.

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