President Jacob Zuma has been at the helm of the country’s backward economic development for nearly 10 years.
Instead of improving the lives of all citizens, through social and economic development, his leadership and government have epitomised a failed, shambolic and totally chaotic state, in every aspect: politics, economics and social aspects.
With more than nine million people unemployed, nearly 18 million on social grants, reigning lawlessness and ongoing threats to investors, the chances of achieving any economic development under his leadership become dimmer and dimmer by the day.
The current state of affairs is a bitter pill to swallow for anyone who trusted the ANC as leader of society.
The ANC waged a long struggle to end apartheid, a struggle correctly viewed by the whole world as a just struggle, but the party is currently viewed as being in cahoots with serious crime/criminals.
Is it not ironic that that very ANC that used to be the paragon of strong political morals and ethics, today is perceived to be behind the gloomiest period since independence?
Is it not a shame that ANC leaders are alleged to be in the forefront of inciting violence to deflect people’s attention from their gross weaknesses, such as the killings in the municipalities, especially in KwaZulu-Natal?
The leadership of the ANC is preoccupied with a narrow and self-serving mission, that is securing political positions to secure their personal welfare and the welfare of family members and cronies.
If leaders are not elected, the economic opportunities are shut to them.
The ANC has degenerated into nothing other than a channel for political patronage and a convenient stepping stone to self-enrichment, instead of being the instrument of our people’s economic and social advancement.
One of the key objectives that the ANC set itself to achieve was to develop the whole country for all its people and to do away with all forms of racial discrimination.
Development in simple language meant that the ANC wanted to eliminate poverty, inequality and unemployment, as a sine qua non for a stable and prosperous nation.
Under Zuma, we saw no development in a classical developmental sense, instead we saw an upsurge of the triple problems of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
The ANC always spoke of a democratic rule that embraced the idea of rectifying the injustices inflicted by apartheid on people’s lives.
Current statistics from StatsSA show that inequality, poverty and unemployment have drastically increased, doubled under Zuma’s rule.
A decline in one or all of the three problems would mean the country was making positive development.
A “developmental state” cannot rely on mere per capita income increase.
That is a false measure, in the context of a developing nation.
During this period, Zuma presided over unemployment that skyrocketed, and lawlessness and anarchy have become the order of the day, wanton looting has taken place with impunity and the nations is on tenterhooks as it waits for a new scandal to rock his government.
It is unfortunate that this should happen in a country that was supposed to rectify the deliberate underdevelopment of black people by successive oppressive regimes.
How is it possible that a president, who is surrounded by people who are educated in the economics of development, could veer so badly off course?
South Africa is currently facing the most difficult challenges since the dawn of democracy.
The biggest problems are the deceleration of the economy, lack of political direction, and the fomentation of social strife and general destabilisation of society.
These socio-economic conditions have become the engine that drives lawlessness, anarchy and national disintegration.
All of the above happens at a time when the ruling elite is producing daily highly amplified slogans such as radical economic transformation, revolutionary developmental state and a host of other terms that sound very noble, but mean nothing to those who mouth them.
From the start, the leadership of Nelson Mandela sought to deal with equalising our society, ending all forms of discrimination and creating opportunities on an equal basis for all citizens of the country.
National development was at the heart of their objective.
This in their minds was to be done through the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP).
Through the RDP, the objective of equality was top of the agenda in Mandela’s programme.
Equality was viewed as an important element in South Africa’s development.
Inequality in South Africa’s case was objectionable in whoever’s or whatever religion or racist and ethical standards one uses.
Mandela and his leadership were aware that the ongoing inequality in our country would fan all forms of racial, ethnic, religious, class, regional and many other tensions. ANC members, this time around, possess an opportunity of electing someone from among them who will be able to grapple with the challenges of the nation and be able to rectify them.
Those who present themselves to lead the country from the ANC ought to tell us how they are going to develop our nation, attract both foreign and domestic investors, grow our economy, promote social cohesion, and deal decisively with corruption, crime, state capture and lawlessness.
It is my view that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in her days before she was dubiously “deployed” to the African Union, could have been easily countered as one who could perform this duty.
However, her deployment to the AU, perceived to have the Guptas’ fingerprints, is something that seems to suggest she would be at the Union Buildings to serve the Gupta project.