About 25 years ago after a long struggle, the ANC brought South Africa democracy. Waiting in the corridors of power was temptation in the form of colonial / Apartheid “white monopoly capital” (WMC).
While non-whites were excited about assumed new freedoms, temptation told ANC leaders to forgo economic liberation for the people and accept Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) for a few. Since the ANC had an idealistic / theoretical, airy fairy economic vision, the ANC accepted the temptation.
The ANC could have, in 25 years developed a skilled black industrial / manufacturing class that could have created wealth for many. Equally, white monopoly capital could have empowered their black workers but neither did. The ANC and WMC upheld the abuse of ordinary people with taxes and an increasing cost of living where bread, milk and other foods increased regularly for no reason. While technology is accessible, housing and food cost is consciously exploitative. Sadly, what most people cannot fathom, is the simple reality that some, among us, relish the pain and suffering of others.
When the ANC leadership changes hands, new BEE deals are made. Thus “white monopoly capital” secured their style of crony capitalism. Accountability and honest trade was extraneous as the ANC collaborated with WMC. Trade union and other leaders were either invited, captured or destroyed. Thus, whilst the ANC had occasion to overcome the temptations of BEE, the reward was too sweet.
So, what went wrong. History confirms that temptation will ultimately betray, as that is its nature.
Unknown to the ANC, WMC conspired to retake politics from the ANC by supporting political parties hostile to the ANC. This was likely because the ANC failed itself by permitting a program of cronyism, nepotism and corruption to overwhelm the broader ANC and its ability to deliver basic services.
Threats of radical economic transformation and nationalization is the ANC response to counter the threat from WMC. When you interfere with our politics we will interfere with your business.
What remains unanswered, is how will everyday people benefit from this showdown? Will we have affordable food, housing, safety and security, transport, jobs etc. Why should we appreciate the ANC or WMC when both are abusive, arrogant, irresponsible and make life costly just because they can?
In the words of the wise, how do ants benefits when elephants fight?
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress