South Africa has come a long way. All granted South Africa did not start in 1912. For the current generation, 1912 and 1910 marks the beginning of a battle of races and tussling for the monopoly of space and the country’s resources.
I choose to use 2012 to 2112 as a direct reference to ANC’s centenary celebration. In essence one can argue that, our future must be marked from 1994 and can be projected a 100 year dispensation to 2094. But my reference is not based on the point of governance, but a revolution.
Why would 2012 be an enviable revolutionary point?
2011 imaged an interesting year, 2011 was a year of great dissatisfaction, not only in ANC, but across SA body politics.
The suspension of Julius Malema and his entire top six was a point in case. It saw an open defiance by ANC YL members in full view of the media therefore the country.
The IFP has split after a constant postponement of congresses. Cope on the other hand has been lobbying other opposition parties for an Alliance after it failed to host its own congress.
The DA has shown eagerness to supplement its policies by black faces and to strengthen its race agenda; DA is for the broader opposition alliance.
I’m more interested in the 100 years ahead. So far we have relied on our fathers and grandmothers who fought during the days of apartheid. It is no surprise that DA constantly wants to project itself as a black party and the ANC constantly refers to its so ever valuable struggle credentials. Either way we are stuck in our ugly past.
If you don’t Vote for the ANC, the ancestors will turn against you – Zuma said.
When announcing Lindiwe Mazibuko as DA parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane as DA national spokesperson and Khume Ramulifho as leader of DA Gauteng South, Mrs Zille seemed quite excited to announce black leaders to the DA.
These two incidences from DA and ANC are unfortunate and literally take us back. Struggle credentials must be shelved and race politics must be buried.
The one quality that ANC and DA have in common that I commend is their credible internal democratic superiority.
I say this because other political parties have some serious problems practising internal democratic processes, especially democratic election.
They either elect one person election after election, which is a sign of paranoia, lack of vision, trust and inability to build a robust organization. An organization cannot revolve around one person for that person’s entire life, like Zanu-PF’s Robert Mugabe, who is forever paranoid, OR they just can’t hold election because of paranoia, the common propaganda in both COPE and IFP was that Sexwale wants to take us over. Which really demonstrate that the political parties themselves are weak structurally and leadership wise. So, the organization can never have integrity if it can’t hold elections.
So, although some of these organizations have no reliance on struggle credentials and race, they lack integrity due to their internal democratic inferiority.
These are our incumbent political players. The question is, do they have a place in South Africa in the next 100 years? Will the ANC celebrate 200 years as a governing party? Will the DA celebrate 200 years as an official opposition party?
Will all other small parties still be in existence in 100 years’ time?
Today we celebrate Nelson Mandela, Joe Slovo, Adelaid Tambo, Helen Suzman, Walter Sisulu, Lilian Ngoyi, Steve Biko, Robert Sobukwe, George Bizos, Barney Pityana, Mamphele Ramphele, Fikile Bam, Winnie Mandela and many more who have won us democracy. We thank them.
In 2112, who would be celebrated when we are all gone? The greatest tragedy would be for the same names to be celebrated again and again, because there is no more heroes’, because the generations after that have lost their sense of selflessness.
We have achieved democracy through an era of selfless services to our country by good men and women who had resolved that, apartheid was inhumane and had to be defeated.
I’m careful in saying democracy and not freedom, because the economic freedom fighters will begin to say, the economic freedom is not achieved.
This then takes me to our second cause. What cause should the current generation launch and pursue selflessly as a united front?
Economic freedom has being punted as such a cause. My view is that, the economic freedom is very short term a goal, probably unachievable, especially in the way it’s sold to us.
The question is economic freedom for whom? Who is economically oppressed? An easy answer would be black people. But that answer is flawed in that, Cyril Ramaphosa, Partrice Motsepe, Julius Malema, Tokyo Sexwale, Herman Mashaba and many more black people cannot claim to be economically oppressed.
Julius Malema will argue that, these people don’t own the means of production. But then again the wealthiest white South Africans don’t own the means of production in the context that Julius Malema refers the means of production. There are a lot of foreign shareholders in Major SA corporations.
This generation of South Africans must launch a campaign for Economic Control and a fair level of economic independence to allow for a fairly economic interdependence.
South Africa firmly in control of its economy can push for SADC to have the same level of control and then Africa to have such control on Africa’s economy. That will have an after effect of continental political freedom.
To this day most Chinese are not economically free, but rather economically secure, mainly because China is in control of its economy, the biggest creditor of the United States of America. China and Japan in the latest news report are planning to drop the dollar.
When the US secretary of state insisted that, China must play with the same economic rules like all other countries in the World, China asked, who made those Rules? We will not be bind by any rule we were not party in making.
No country can assert that, unless it is in full control of its economy and it dictates the direction of its economy, not some super foreign investors.
Is the ANC or other incumbent political parties capable of championing this cause? What would it take to champion this cause?
My view is that, all this political parties unless they re-invent themselves, will not be party to South Africa’s government in 2112.
The current political parties are pre-occupied by the urgent things in both government and their stomach. So, they have automated the dependency of South Africa’s economy to other economies. They have no strategies to increase the demand of platinum and other produce in Africa and other economies in the world. China has penetrated all countries in the world economically, Even US and Europe has some form of dependency on China.
Of course, China is blamed for employing millions of its people as cheap labour. One can never condone the abuse of people in the workplace for the sake of economic prosperity.
Economists, however, tell us that, an oversupply of anything be it a skill, a product etc. result in the drop in its prise. Once you try to beat this principle, you will have a natural collapse. It does not matter how loud you scream, it doesn’t matter how many times you change your economic policies, if this principle is cheated, you would have to go back and correct it.
Once you have extreme levels of unemployment, a simple conclusion is that, you have room to hire labour at a cheaper price and should you fail to do so, unemployment will remain and if you employ more people at the same rate, your profitability will suffer and therefore you will be unsustainable and likely to close shop.
I’m not championing for cheap labour, I’m merely clarifying an economic principle.
In China, you are likely to be arrested if you are known to be super rich, especially if you work for government.
Until we re-invent our political machinery to be selfless and efficient to the extent that, politicians see it taboo to spent R100 000/week in a hotel. The constant nagging by councillors in South Africa for their salaries to be elevated to those of MPL’s, is one indication of how rotten our leaders are. Once you are in the council, you are in the service for the people and you must fight for the people before you fight for yourself.
We must forge for a slim and efficient government with less extravagance for the politicians.
It was not fair for our politicians to compare themselves to those in other countries or to the apartheid error leaders. If we are to build a robust self-reliant economy, there would have to be a lot of sacrifice among the ruling elite, the rich, the working class and the unemployed.
The sacrifice will have to be lead. I doubt if the current leaders in our country would be able to lead the society to the selflessness that would result in South Africa’s economic supremacy.
Our greatest enemy is not capital or unemployment or poverty or racism, but culture. There is a very poor sense of working culture and selfless service to our people.
Sentletse Diakanyo wrote one day on Twitter: I went to a shop in Mahikeng, the service was so poor that, I felt that they were doing me a favour by selling to me.
This is one simple example. Billions of rends of tax payers’ money is lost through the system because of shoddy work due to poor work ethic and self-centeredness that lacks reference.
The culture of selflessness must be encouraged among the elite and the rich and it must be forced down through to the people.
Africa will only be freed by itself, by behaving like an adult and not consume all it has now as quickly as possible before the regime is over, but by working to free Africa.
The traditional ways of doing things will not free South Africa or Africa.
We need new leaders, we need a new agreement and South Africa must re-structure its democracy.
Our democracy is built on a racial foundation.
The deal we have now was reached between the then Exiled, Prisoners, banned organizations predominately black and the Ruling White elite.
The bases of the agreement were based on the black majority and the white minority. This was flawed.
A new agreement is needed between South Africans as a people. The agreement must be based on the challenges South Africa faces rather than on the colour line.
It must be illegal for anyone to leave in a place where there is no water, it must be illegal for a child of a poor person to pay for school fees, and education must be free for all those who can’t afford. Sanitation must be provided for all.
All South Africans must have a space to work for their country, whether voluntary, with stipend or salaried.
South African government must have full control of its economy, regardless of how the economy is structured.
The heroes of 2112 will be the leaders who would re-position the economy of our country. It will be those who would turn around the culture of our people from do something for me to; can I do something for my country?
Our common vision being to propel South Africa to economic and moral supremacy, and then South Africa must be an agent to propel SADC to economic and moral Supremacy; SADC must propel Africa to economic and moral supremacy.
We need leaders who would propel Africa to rule the world. Africa is superior in natural resources and inferior in the capacity of leadership.
I doubt the current leaders and organizations will even come close to achieving this.
But the current generation will achieve this.
By 2112, South Africa will be economically superior in the globe, The New Struggle has begun.
Before I forget: Happy birthday to ANC for reaching 100 years in 2012, 2012 is a new focal point for a new revolution for South Africa’s economic supremacy.
This document is authored by Sefu Sekgala