African National Madness

Rhoda Kadalie says the ANC and the ANCYL don’t seem to understand how the world works

The ANC’s Gallagher Estate Conference was its last chance to inspire hope in South Africans. God knows we need it. The latest happiness index shows that we are indeed rock bottom. We can no longer remain spectators to this African National Madness and its unholy bun-fight for the control of the economy.

Shrouded in Stalinist rhetoric – the second transition (euphemism for the NDR); the “willing seller willing buyer” versus land expropriation; the nationalisation of the mines versus the nationalisation of farms – this government does not have a clue what it is doing and we, as much as they, do not know what the hell is going on?

What this country needs is a nationalisation of the MIND! Education should be mandatory for everyone in the National Executive of the ANC, more so for the ANC Youth League who has no clue how the world works! They do not understand why economic growth is important for job creation; they do not understand why flexible Labour Laws will create jobs for the poor; they do not understand why foreign direct investment will promote growth; they do not understand why education is important for employment; and they do not understand why food security is intrinsic to land and agricultural reform.

President Zuma’s opening salvo at the conference confirmed how the ANC continues to divide this nation. He alluded to “us versus them” coquettishly trying to woo his own followers who had become alienated from him. Zuma treats citizens like outsiders looking in on the madness of those drunk with political power. The constant toyi-toying and struggle dancing are a metaphor it.

How do we as a citizenry tolerate the cavalier way in which our money is being spent? A R2 billion jet for the President who is rumoured to be more at Nkandla than at the Union Buildings; a Presidential village with helipad and underground tunnels in Nkandla costing around R65 million; mansions and luxury cars for the ANC elite, bought from taxpayers’ money with an entitlement that is boundless.

It is frankly sickening. The inequality coefficient is widening and the growing poverty is assuaged by the unsustainable social grant system; and the youth are disintegrating under the burden of disease and poor education. Vigilantism and necklacing in the townships are replacing the rule of law with a recklessness that is simply frightening. Social cohesion is disintegrating, desperately waiting for the next world cup to reinvigorate it.

Sadly, nation building has died with the retirement of Mandela. Reconstruction and development is a distant memory, hijacked by the internal power struggles of a party that fails to understand that accountability is central to good administration. Citizens are useful only insofar as we pay up for the profligate lifestyles of the ruling elite. We may as well be dead.

But the spiritually dead are our ANC politicians. They speak a different language; they indulge in verbiage from a former era; they are out of touch while sporting the trappings of modernity.

This anachronism called the youth league is in serious need of education. No one prepares them for adulthood; they are cultivated to remain a lost generation. Bred by apartheid, the National Democratic Revolution continues to nurture them for a future without hope. The frightening statistics on the Human Development Index attest to how far we have sunk.

Ronald Reagan’s comical but apt comment sums up the ANC’s performance since 1999: “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”

This article first appeared in Die Burger.

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