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By Bennie Van Zyl

General Manager


Ramaphosa’s call for revolution is inappropriate as a method of change

How pathetic is a government that, after almost 30 years in power, still preaches revolution?


The concept of revolution has different interpretations depending on who is speaking, and all these different definitions can undoubtedly be considered accepted viewpoints. But in saying this, I want to focus on the social order and how it will or can be changed through a revolution.

That there is a violent element associated with “revolution” is a given. It is highly inappropriate to propose this concept as the appropriate change method in a democratic country.

A revolution can be seen as overthrowing the existing authority through rebellion and violence.

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We have taken note of the statement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa regarding revolution at the ANC Youth League conference on 2 July at Nasrec: “The ANC may eventually lose the ability to grow and renew itself. Therefore, I call upon you to return to the militancy of the ANC Youth League of the 1944 era, to go back to the militancy of the ANC Youth League of the ’80s and the ’90s.

“This is your heritage. That is where you belong, that is where we want to see the ANC Youth League returning. We don’t want to see an ANC Youth League that is docile, we don’t want to see an ANC Youth League that is asleep during a revolution. You are the revolution.”

We are far off-track if the head of state of a country preaches revolution by encouraging his followers to overthrow the existing order violently.

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What can be inferred from this? Ramaphosa owes an explanation to the country’s law-abiding citizens regarding the aim of the revolution he is encouraging. Suppose it is aimed at something other than the state. In that case, he acknowledges that something else is in control and that government should not continue occupying power.

Today’s major problem is that we still have a revolutionary organisation that does not understand what it means to govern, but continues to play revolution-revolution against an imaginary enemy that supposedly threatens it. The truth is that its inability to govern is its biggest threat.

It is constantly setting up distractions to divert attention from its incompetence. When we look at the momentum of race-based legislation to restrain the disposable minority group of whites, there is only one conclusion: that skill and success in business seriously threatens the ANC.

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Ironically, the group it fights against in every possible way essentially ensures there is something in the state coffers that can be used, or rather misused. The fact that voters still consider aligning themselves with revolutionaries to face the future with that mindset says a lot about South Africa’s voters.

The culture of revolution preached by Ramaphosa is destructive and detrimental, with no future for our nation’s youth. Such remarks remind one of the 1976 unrest when the slogan “liberation before education” was prevalent. It also indicates that voters, under the approving eye of the president, are still engaged in some form of “liberation”.

How pathetic is a government that, after almost 30 years in power, still preaches revolution?

Mr President, our country needs economic growth to address the socioeconomic problems caused by your policies.

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To create and maintain the infrastructure destroyed during your time in government. To establish meaningful and high-quality education and teach people that life owes them nothing – you will only see positive results when you take responsibility for what life requires of you, put your shoulder to the wheel, work hard and abandon your demanding culture.

This means that the simple economic rules laid out in economics 101 must be consistently applied, but that is asking too much. We prefer to destroy what the private sector still sustains by pursuing ridiculous revolutionary policy directions.

The influence of your policy direction directly impacts the future of every South African. What you pursue has never resulted in anything other than sadness and poverty.

The youth, whose opportunities are stolen by your policy approach and “revolution”, will reach a point where they realise the blame for the state’s failure squarely falls on the ANC.

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In all honesty, Mr President, the outcome of the ANC’s policies has already become too costly for every South African who is not part of your cadre group.

-Van Zyl is the general manager of TLU SA

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