The legacy of apartheid is still being used as a “scapegoat” for government’s failure to assure that issues such as crime, a lack of jobs and poverty were adequately tackled in the last 20 years.
“This is all fairly repetitive stuff,” political analyst Daniel Silke said.
“I think it is becoming an increasingly thin argument to use the legacy of apartheid to blame the severe policy inadequacies over the last 20 years on.
“President Jacob Zuma and a large part of the ANC continue to use apartheid as a useful scapegoat to afford them a sort of ‘get-out-of-jail card’ for poor delivery, poor implementation and poor policy making.
“It really is a deflection of the current reality of South Africa, which suggests that we’ve had 20 years or more since the end of apartheid – and in that time, South Africa, with infinite resources available, has largely failed to adequately grow the economy and certainly has failed to create sufficient jobs for the growing population.”
Other countries of the world in two decades have been able to score very impressive victories over poverty and also their position in terms of being global leaders and global competitors, Silke said.
“South Africa cannot simply blame its pre-1994 past, when indeed I would argue that resources and the skillset of South Africans of 20 years could very well have boosted the country.”
After apartheid was found as the scapegoat by government, he said, it has been used to lay blame, rather than look inwardly at the inadequacies.
Speaking about Zuma’s reaction to the Freedom Front Plus on farm murders in parliament yesterday, Silke said the president lacked empathy in his reply.
“He was looking to score minor political points on the semantics of the question at the time.
“This was just another example of obfuscation by the president on a whole number of issues. I don’t think any of his answers would give South Africans anything to feel uplifted by.”
Zuma’s defence of Social Security Minister Bathabile Dlamini was also largely expected. “
He will clearly defend his Cabinet, whoever they might be. But given her personal support for Zuma, he is even more unlikely to criticise her,” Silke said.