ANC is a victim of its own success

Despite challenges, the ANC-led government delivers, facing unfair criticism. Only ANC can lead us into brighter future.

For the past few years, I have been observing a number of people – so-called analysts, businesspeople, former and current leaders, artists and ordinary people in the street – claiming that the ANC-led government has failed our people, hence it must wither away from being the ruling party in the upcoming elections.

If you were naive, myopic and weak, you would easily believe their constant refrain that the colonial apartheid government was better than the ANC-led government.

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Interestingly, some have the gall to argue that 30 years is sufficient to address the mammoth socioeconomic and political problems manufactured by white settler-colonial and apartheid misrule.

This is a rather disturbingly illogical and funny proposition, coming from academics and half-baked analysts who, at least, should remember the statement by Hendrik Verwoerd that their social engineering called “apartheid” must be done in a way that would make it difficult to reverse.

Of course, it would be naive of me to dismiss the fact that there are challenges, but the undisputable fact is that the ANC-led government has delivered and continues to do so, at least on the basics.

What worries me is that when I read the print and electronic media, including social media, I often find some people, whom I know had personally benefitted from the ANC-led government’s policies, dissing the ANC and falsely proclaiming it to be a failure, and hence must wither away in 2024.

There are some key challenges, which are being cited as reasons for the withering away of the ANC in the upcoming 2024 elections. These are the continued triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment (including graduates, many of whom are Nsfas beneficiaries).

Then there are social ills, especially corruption and crime and load shedding. These are used as reasons for the so-called failure of the ANC, despite evidence to the contrary.

Firstly, it is not the responsibility of government to create jobs. Rather, government must create a conducive environment for job creation as much as service deliverables also possess possibilities of creation of jobs.

The private sector remains critical in the creation of jobs, hence we must also pressure it to do so. On the issue of unemployed graduates, a recent report indicates there is progress in this regard, albeit challenges remain.

For instance, government has initiated a number of programmes aimed at dealing with poverty, inequality and unemployment as the recent census report confirmed.

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Some of these programmes are Extended Public Works Programmes, Presidential Employment Stimulus, Presidential Youth Employment Intervention and

This last one is as a zero-rated platform for the unemployed youth and more than 4.3 million young people are now engaged on the network and 1.6 million have so far secured opportunities. Additionally, one million school assistants have been placed in 23 000 schools.

Besides the historical issues of colonial apartheid objectives of indoctrination through formal education to reduce black people into nothing but better servants of white masters, the main elephant in the room that must be confronted is the skills mismatch, where post-matric education produces scores of unemployable graduates.

On the issue of social ills such as corruption and crime, the ANC-led government has initiated a variety of programmes, including creating policies and platforms that expose corruption and crime.

What remains important here is that communities and the business sector (that often pays bribes to get its way) must also play their role because without them, government will battle to contain this.

On the issue of load shedding, as much as I agree that there appears to be a deliberate act from some forces against progress that sabotages Eskom, another truth is that the ANC-led government is a victim of its own success.

For instance, the ANC-led government decided to give electricity even to the deepest rural areas, which eventually compromised the capacity of Eskom to generate energy because the infrastructure inherited from colonial apartheid only services the small white minorities.

However, we must appreciate the progress made by government to resolve the crisis.

Finally, I want to say that despite the existing challenges, the ANC remains the only organisation that has experience and ability to resolve these challenges and usher us into a national democratic society that is the opposite of the pre-1994 society.

• Zondi is a former Moses Mabhida regional secretary of the ANC Youth League. He writes in his personal capacity