Zuma looks weakened
02 July 2012 | The Citizen
One of the difficulties in making such assessments is the lack of agreement not only among journalists and other observers who were
excluded from many of the proceedings, but also among leaders who were there.
For example, on the crucial issue of nationalisation, ANC national executive committee member Enoch Godongwana told the media on Friday night that the conference had not taken a decision on the ownership of the country’s mines.
In his closing speech Zuma also made no direct mention of nationalisation.
However, he did say that the state should “capture an equitable share of mineral resource rents”.
Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi was more blunt, saying the intent of the conference on the topic of nationalisation had not been properly conveyed.
“I was of the sense that the majority was in support of nationalisation”. By this he meant “strategic” rather than “blanket” nationalisation.
Indeed the bulk of weekend analysis suggests the party did lean heavily towards more state intervention, including nationalisation, although no definitive move was made.
Bearing in mind that investors, foreign and local, are waiting for clear direction on this subject, the outcome is not good news.
Although there was discussion about reducing the number of provinces, it does not seem that this has moved dramatically forward. For several years the ANC has been talking about having five or six provinces.
Given the party’s poor
administrative record, this can only be a cynical ploy to curtail the DA, which has been running the Western Cape very well.
Regarding Zuma’s prospects of serving a second term as ANC president, our view is that he suffered several setbacks.
The most obvious was on the question of a “second transition”, where he nailed his colours firmly to the mast.
The conference approval of a “second phase” of transition was a means of clipping his wings. Similarly, he did not get his way on nationalisation, no matter what his supporters tell the media.
Conference delegates also spurned the youth wage
subsidy, which Zuma and
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan have previously touted.
The watered-down version was obviously tailored to suit Cosatu rather than the Zuma camp.
Zuma was also thwarted on the controversial Traditional Courts Bill, which he had hoped to use to bolster his support in rural areas.
Taken with the President’s inability to assert his authority, for example when
delegates became rowdy, these policy snubs suggest he is losing his grip.
The chaos of Polokwane in 2007 has nowhere near been matched, but the singing of anti-Zuma songs points to a possible change of leadership at Mangaung in December.
If a week is a long time in politics, six months must be an eternity.
Balances will change. But right now Zuma looks weakened.
YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN
looklocal Pretoria Moot
looklocal Pretoria East
looklocal Randfontein Westonaria
looklocal Rosebank Killarney
looklocal Eastern Highveld