The ANC is nose-diving. We cannot let South Africa go down with it. It is time to cut loose. This once magnificent party that played a crucial role in bringing about our democracy, is now our greatest liability. Infected by endemic cronyism and corruption, it has lost the capacity and the will to serve the public. Its salvation lies in retreating, regrouping, rethinking, and then returning renewed to contest afresh. South Africa’s salvation lies in ejecting it. That is our opportunity and our duty on 3 August.
The ANC is showing all the usual signs of a liberation movement in its endgame. Having failed to resist the temptations of personal enrichment that undiluted power presents, they have become a party for the privileged few who are plugged into the patronage network that radiates out from their Big Man, Jacob Zuma. They have abandoned their founding ideals and they have abandoned us. The ANC comes first; South Africa, last.
The paths they have taken to turn public resources into private wealth are often concealed, but we see highly visible markers of indiscriminate plunder along the way: the Arms Deal, Nkandla and Guptagate in our past and Zuma’s R4 billion jet and R1 trillion nuclear deal in our possible future.
Naturally, their performance has suffered, as have millions of South Africans. So they are rightfully losing the popular support that genuine, honest provision confers. We see this in the increasingly frequent and violent service delivery protests in towns and cities around the country. And they are losing the confidence of investors. We see this in our record high joblessness – 8.9 million people – and in our record low investment – our economy contracted by 1.2% in the last quarter while foreign direct investment fell by 69% last financial year.
Unable to rely on re-election through honest, capable government, they have turned to devious means. This is power versus force: having lost the power of principle, they have turned to the force of repression and suppression. We see this in their capture of the SABC in order to hide the truth about their spiralling performance and support. We saw it in their use of force against striking mineworkers in Marikana in August 2012. And we see it in their neglect of education, the source of political resistance – hence SADTU’s “jobs for cash” racket that is strangling our basic education system.
Facing the prospect of electoral defeat, they have ramped up their corruption channels – through the capture of the mining ministry and SAA, and the attempted capture of the finance ministry (Nenegate) – and fortified their immunity – through the capturing of Hawks, NPA, and the police. Every government programme is now conceived as a way to funnel money to corrupt cronies. It is not about delivery anymore, it’s about stealing.
They’ve become increasingly populist in their policies and rhetoric, seeking to divide on the basis of race and fear. We’ve seen this in their divisive racial campaigning this week. And to further shore up eroding power, they have tilted the electoral playing field in order to stave off defeat. We see this in their widespread and illegal use of state resources and events for party political campaigning and in their lion’s share of public media space for election campaigning.
The ANC leaders of today are feckless and reckless, bulldozing their way through all we hold precious in their relentless pursuit of wealth and impunity. Media freedom, equality before the law, the separation of powers, our economy, our Constitution, Mandela’s dream, our children’s futures. Nothing is sacrosanct.
They’ve got to go. Our young democracy will be destroyed if the ANC is allowed to govern with impunity. It is now time to take the advice that Mandela gave at the Cosatu Conference in 1993: “If the ANC does to you what the Apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the Apartheid government.” On 3 August we must save South Africa by voting the ANC out.
And on 3 August, we can start to build the future we want for ourselves and our children by voting for the DA. The DA will bring honest government that creates jobs and delivers better services. The DA will put South Africa first.