THIS ADMINISTRATION WILL BUILD ON THE GOOD STORY BUT A SHIFT IN SPEED AND DELIVERY IS ANTICIPATED TO CROWN THE NEW ADMINISTRATION’S AGENDA!
In the aftermath of SA’s 5th free and fair national elections many questions may be considered of pre-eminence for this new administration as led by the now confirmed leading party of the SA in democracy.
Perhaps the question before us is what will make up the agenda of the new Government in this epoch? It is also not possible to ask what the agenda of the Government will be in absence of asking what this means for the ANC. The symbiotic and natural relationship between Government and the ANC is crucial since it is the ANC that makes up the essence of the leadership of the 5th National South African Government.
Let me in the beginning make it clear that whilst many issues may be assumed to be a part of the administration’s agenda, I have identified the following 4 matters as taking centre stage.
1. IMPORTANCE OF THE PARTY MANIFESTO AS THE CRITICAL TOOL
• Firstly for the ANC it will be in a larger sense a continuation of the mandate exacted and embodied in its ongoing manifestos which since the inception of democracy remains the overarching drivers and themes for delivery. It is important to understand and acknowledge the development of the Manifesto. The Manifesto a 5 year broad plan with critical themes is arrived at through an intense process of consultation, engaging of the core structures of the ANC its policies and plans, which ultimately is concluded in a final manifesto which is taken to the public as the critical issues for which the ANC wants to be kept accountable.
• Continuing with the implementation of the Manifesto becomes the bases of the government agenda as the measurable mechanism to assess the success and or failure of the government.
2. THE CHALLENGE OF AN UNEQUIVOCAL ANC LED DRIVEN POLICY – TO UNLOCK TRUE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Economic Development remains the capstone of assessing any successful government, for the varied reasons and outflows it has on the both micro and macro scopes of a successful government. There are a number of issues here that warrants action:
• The ANC notwithstanding its economic policy stance has struggled to make this economic stance count, in consistency of articulation and presence of being.
• The economic policy of the ANC has often taken an undeserved backseat to the very economic stances of its tripartite alliance partners. What we have seen and heard is a vocal COSATU and its affiliates namely NUMSA on the issue of an SA economic policy. This new administration will have distinguish itself in definitively articulating ANC – economic policy in actualisation, praxis and fundamental presence.
This epoch demands a parity of articulation on economic policy as ANC led in the Tripartite Alliance.
• The second perhaps more dominant reason for such is the presence of the newcomer, the EFF who prides itself in name to be the economic freedom fighters of the masses. The latter may be utter conjecture if a true analysis of the EFF is made yet we cannot assume that the presence of the EFF particularly defined as economically based makes for just a side issue. It will be imperative for the ANC led government to distinguish itself as leading the charge of true economic freedom for the masses of SA.
• At a more central level it will be essential to continue with creating the enabling environment for seeing this economic development realised until it attest undeniable confirmation in the embrace of the masses.
• This government will equally have to balance the conflicts of black empowerment need to attract international investment and that often question the demands of international investors that often militates against the social consciousness of the ANC’s economic policy. This balancing act remains not an easy task though.
• Another key issue as part of the economic development is the ongoing implementation of a designated and carefully managed SMME context, we have already heard that a separate ministry is coming the challenge is how this will play out particularly because in most established and growing economies the presence and relevance of a strong small to medium enterprise strategy as adopted by government is crucial for the success of economic development. SMME’s often contribute handsomely to the subject matter of job creation.
Hence the SMME sector is crucial and critical catalyst for economic development for the varied positive contributing elements it holds. Government will therefore be attentive to make this ministry count whilst be cognisant not to make it another RDP ministry that failed when all ministries abandoned their collective conjoined responsibilities in the subject matter of economic development and job creation.
• Perhaps another dynamic of economic development constitutes the need to arrest the current out of control labour unrest and strike that has for gripped the mining and particular the platinum sector. Government will have to show who ears the big drawls and act against the systemic and vociferous destruction of a key sector and economy.
3. THE EMOTIVE ISSUE OF LAND OWNERSHIP & FINALISATION OF PROTRACTED LAND AUDITS
No subject has consistently managed to raise more emotions than this issue. I have previously said land is and remains an emotive issue simply because – they do not make land anymore -. Emotions permeate simply because on all sides of the race and economic spectra of SA citizens the subject of land remains the true signpost of freedom (for blacks) or democracy (for whites).
• The ANC has taken a lead with the re-opening of the Land Claims process which had a 1913 cut off period. The new government will have to rise above the politics of land and implement what is policy in an unbiased yet responsive sense. The ANC will not be able to dance around the issue which only becomes paramount around elections.
• The new government will have to speed – up and finalise the protracted land audits at national level and pronounce on such.
• It will have to deal with the issue of land tenure and the rights of farmworkers to land not only at policy issue but in implementation reality context. The ANC will be duty-bound to unlock the red tape, administrative challenges and cul-de-sacs that have kept landownership a mystery and confusing issue.
• Land though used as a political football for some, will be central for this administration and therefore the ANC will be leading the charge in realising the final delivery of land to the masses of SA who still believe that land ownership reflects the spatial racism paradigm of apartheid.
• Ultimately land ownership speaks at another level to the challenges of Tribal Ownership and the ramifications of such, therefore at government level it will be essential to look at the constitutional prerogatives for these and how this will engage with implementation of land policy,
• In the final analysis land-ownership will have to let us in on how and why and increasing percentage of land claim beneficiaries opts for compensation as opposed to ownership.
4. ISSUE OF JOB CREATION WITH YOUTH BENEFIT
• Job Creation is perhaps the number one challenge the new government will have to contend with. The issue of job creation was crucial in the campaigning season and both the DA and EFF have made this issue a crucial one for them.
• The ANC has led the way and put it’s head on the block with the pronounced 6 million job opportunities which it has alluded to in its manifesto. The 6 million jobs were turned into 6 million real jobs by the DA. We don’t know what this mean yet we can safely conclude the EPWP programmes, the incentivised programme for corporates for youth employment and other creative means earmarked in ANC policy will have to find feet in this administration.
• Job creation has off course the dynamism of a particular constituency namely the YOUTH which remains a key sector for all political parties, The ANC has another opportunity to make this constituency count in job creation and therefore will have to be cognisant of this issue.
Citing these here is not to disregard other issues ventilated in our ongoing narrative, yet I am reasonably convinced the administration will have to give due attention to these aforementioned critical themes and if the ANC fulfil in these it would be difficult to falter it as not delivering on its Manifesto.
Clyde N. S. Ramalaine
Independent Observer & Analyst
Founder of TTMoSA (The Thinking Masses of South Africa)