Written by Prince Mashele
The idea paints a picture of wise thinkers who know how to solve SA’s problems.
The reality, though, is that you yourself are probably more intelligent than most of the ANC members there. Some of them can’t even define the word “policy”.
There is a small group among them who imagine themselves as serious thinkers. These are the people who have been bombarding us with the slogan “radical economic transformation” of late.
There is a simple way of understanding what the ANC people at Nasrec are doing, and whether we should expect something out of their conference.
South Africa’s main problems are three and well-known: poverty, inequality and unemployment.
The ANC people at the conference may think that they are discussing nine policy documents, but in the main, they are trying to solve the three fundamental problems of our country.
To check whether or not their meeting is a waste of time, you must ask: after six days of talk, will the documents they produce end poverty, create jobs and reduce inequality?
To answer this question we don’t need to wait for the conference to end; we can consult experience.
Remember, this is the fifth national policy conference of the ANC. The previous four conferences dealt with the same problems.
The question is, after the first four conferences, was there less poverty, unemployment or inequality in SA? No, there is more.
Statistics SA tells us that more than 7 million South Africans have no means of dealing with hunger. We have also learned recently that unemployment has now reached the high levels of 13 years ago. Today, South Africa is one of the three most unequal countries in the world, competing with Haiti and Namibia.
All this is evidence that the ANC’s previous policy conferences wasted hot air, reams of paper and gallons of ink for nothing. After days of noise and pontificating, poverty deepened, unemployment increased and inequality widened.
Why, then, must we expect that the fifth ANC national policy conference will do what four previous ones failed to do?
The truth is that, after the ANC people are done talking in Johannesburg, they will go back home and nothing will change.
Another painful truth is that it is those people at Nasrec who worsened our country’s problems. Our state was captured by the Guptas under them, our economy was downgraded under them, and unemployment worsened under them.
Before they went to the policy conference, they promised us “radical economic transformation”.
They do this knowing that their president, Jacob Zuma, is left with five months as leader of the ANC and two years as head of state.
If Zuma failed radically to transform the economy all these years of his presidency, why should we expect that he will do it in two years when he is no longer president of the ANC?
The problem is not Jacob Zuma. It is the ANC. The party has run out of ideas and does not know what to do with the South African economy.
After taking power as government, and employing black people in government positions, the party does not know how to proceed.
The record of the party in the private sector is dismal. It has produced a few black millionaires who produce nothing.
They drive Range Rovers but they cannot show you a single factory they have established that employs a thousand black people.
When we black people think of finding employment, we think of a white man – not a black man who drives a BMW X5.
By “radical economic transformation”, the ANC means more black millionaires who don’t even have a factory to produce a simple thing like a spoon.
If you think this is harsh, have you seen a factory of a black millionaire that produces a car? Or, here is another question: do you think the ANC people who are discussing policies in Johannesburg know how to make a cellphone?
The problems of South Africa – of poverty, unemployment and inequality – will not be solved by long speeches and radical slogans at a conference. They will be solved by producing things in a factory. The ANC does not know how to do this.
Views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Mzansi Fresh and Zagossip.