Great moments need great and fearless leadership!
The policy conference is about to close and it seems the much made of divisions informed by the un-ANC emerging personality cult politics in party embrace remains immanent only in the eyes of those who seek to benefit from such division.
Zuma, the ANC leader has done it again- the much publicised standoff of what some erroneously dubbed his “second transition” or “second phase of the transition” as adopted by the Policy Conference came to naught.
The unity and adoption of the core fundamentals of the principle content confirms the fact that he as president is leading the organizational renewal campaign. He is spearheading the organisation into a new direction of finding its historic path of its core values, its original intent, and it’s principles of selflessness and its mission of a better life for all.
Those who claimed he would suffer a bruising defeat in rejection of call it “second transition” or “second phase of transition” got lost in the semantics and forgot the substantial content contained and embraced by the delegates. Those who argued he will get a vote of no confidence as a precursor for a promised “Mangaung of Revenge” failed to appreciate the dynamism of the ANC in its core.
Zuma is perhaps South Africa’s first true domestic president by many standards. It can be confirmed that whilst many regard the many service delivery protests as a sign of his leadership failure, the truth is the statistics of service delivery attests different. Many more have been brought onto the power grid of electricity supply, many more have access to basic amenities. The success of this often ignites impatience rendering the success as perceptive failure.
No matter how much we want to complain we simply cannot nay-say the changes in South Africa defined in democratic embrace. The challenges remain real the road still long but that we had embarked on a future which began in 1994, cannot be disputed by any. Political freedom innately includes economic redress.
Zuma is perhaps tasked with the mandate to steer the ANC back to its roots out of the proverbial killer whale waters of factionalism, corruption, tenderpreneurship, quick rich schemes, aloofness, self-absorption, a marauding crippling ill-discipline and a new emerging sense of personality cult in which it appeared the ANC is for sale to its highest bidder.
The importance of the ANC finding its moral compass is significant not for simplistic cheap self-serving reasons of second term making but for the cohesive development of a South Africa in which our children, youth men and women participate in national pride enjoined by a patriotism enshrined in our constitutional framework.
It is therefore important that the nucleus of direction (ANC) discerns what this hour demands in organisational sense so as to lead our nation forward into the second phase of what was a compromised agreement inspired by a vision of a free and democratic South Africa.
On his shoulders the challenge of economic redress now squarely rests to see a majority begin to benefit. Yes the Youth League undeniably raised the long overdue debate on economic redress, the ANC has adopted it and has seen the importance of this, and it is now an ANC matter not a section of the ANC to use as their personal agenda.
As this Thursday ebbs to its end, divisions as mooted and speculated by media, public intellectuals and analysts, mirrors a mirage of opinion informed by sentimental even sensational snapshot armchair- analysis.
These all have yet to understand the inner workings of this 100 year old movement, they fail to appreciate the fibre of this broad church organisation who always debate in robustness but concludes in consensus. It is not as easy as it purported to hijack an organization that has its core in resilient and fearless engagement.
This Policy Conference no different to the special NEC convened a fortnight ago, contradicts these divisions as some informed by unseen sources claimed to be loyal to the ANC. These have no doubt been acting in self-interest and not the organisational interest. This policy conference amongst other things confirmed there is one ANC and whoever hopes to argue that there are many ANC’s clearly misses the plot.
When it matters the ANC is one, its unity is not a uniformity but a diversity wrought and manifested in common goal. Its oneness is not centred on a personality, but a demand placed upon by the burden of freedom. Its hegemony is not a conflated agreement of personality making. This ANC outlived its challenges in times past and always finds new leadership to see its original goal attained.
Those who cried the ANC has changed yearning for a specific epoch for which they knew the ANC has failed to understand that this epoch does not call for any past leaderships regardless to how great we may romantically express on them. This moment calls for fearless leadership to bring the ANC back to its basics by starting to firstly respect itself in organisational context.
There is no question that the ANC has lived through a very challenging time, yet it always rises above that which tears at its soul. It always finds a way to get the centre of focus back into scope.
There is but one ANC, there is but one movement, and there is one democratically elected leader chosen to lead the centenary year that equally marks a time of organizational renewal. The question of discipline is no more a contention but it has become a non-negotiable. Indeed great moments do require great and fearless leadership.
Now the challenges of school books not delivered on time and in time, the challenges of economic redress, land reform and misplaced ownership, service delivery must take centre stage. The burden of the masses must take again the centre stage and not the concern of powerful minority groups who remains the de facto benefactors of the first phase of the transition. It is not the time to dabble in appeasement it is time to answer the call of your true constituency.
Now the heart of the struggle must be again the townships and not the elite Gucci and Prada class. If the ANC has any hope to lead further it must make these tough choices and run the risks of upsetting make believe constituencies who received over the last 20 years too much attention. Let it be unapologetic in putting the people first and quit trying to win over those who have yet to vote for it.
Fire those who can’t perform, get rid of those who have given the ANC this blemished stain of self-serving careerist politics. Deal with members who act as if the ANC owe them something, those who take the votes of the masses for granted whose only hope is to become celebrities, driving Bentleys and sipping Chivas Regal and puffing on Cuban cigars.
Off load those who ring-fence tenders as a means to summit the mountain of personal wealth. Cleanse the ANC from those who invaded it for only one reason, self-enrichment regardless of their colour. Render powerless those who seek to cause division, cripple those who sow discord.
Take back the centre stage of leading towards a freedom in which our Youth receives in Freedom Charter dictate free education; unlock this economy that graduates and the unemployed masses find jobs. Restore the ownership of land as reflecting this country’s demographics.
Prove unashamed to take from the wealthy (regardless of Colour) to give to the poor. Let all your leaders at all levels be free from compromise selling our nation for a Range Rover automobile. Capacitate at local government level this nation with competence and denounce the entitlement subculture of some.
Let membership again be an honour and not a window dressing exercise or direct meal ticket. Take the ANC back to its people. Listen to us, who consistently have voted for the ANC out of the hope of its historic mandate. We have spoken on the e-toll saga, we are speaking daily in the townships protests marches, we are visible in a much needed transport system, and we are on street corners in youth expression desperate to find a job. We are the jobless masses a whole 29% of SA population. We are the small business owners and entrepreneurs who demands space in this economy. We are the landless masses defined in firstly Khoi- San context. We are the church formations that serve soup and bread out of our own meagre coffers helping the welfare challenges. We are the sowing clubs that needs help, the small bakeries who dream of becoming an Albany. The children receiving an “education” with no text book under a tree having walked 5 kilometres on this cold winter to what we believe is a school.
We are the women and men abused and left to fend for ourselves. We are the workers toiling and mobilizing for a living wage. We are the farm workers still gripped in abuse. All the above this your true constituency who time after time have returned to vote for our collective dream embodied in your leadership.
Renew our faith that the ANC is joined by all as individuals voluntarily and not in groups of tribal, peer, league, kibandla or class definition. Let us believe again to serve in its leadership is a privilege, to be deployed is an honour. Its constitution is supreme; it’s structures to be respected.
Let this organisation be renewed in its mission, confined in its overarching goal of liberating the masses, let it again find meaning in its revolutionary context as leading the way. Let the lie of intellectual absence be proven for what it is.
We shall keep our collective leaders feet to the heat to deliver not promises but programmes and action. Let us desist focussing on individuals in paradigms of hate and dislike for leaders duly elected and focus on that which always guided the ANC.
It takes a special kind of leadership to be chosen to lead in such torrid times, we are seeing great leadership, whether we want to deny or admit it this is indeed a kairos in chronos in the organisational and country sense.
We will give you one more chance as a people deliver to those who vote for you.
Halala ANC, halala organizational renewal, halala JZ leadership!
Bishop Clyde N. Ramalaine