ARTICLE: The ANC’s Strategic Suicide

CLICK HERE: ARTICLE.The_ANCs_Strategic_Suicide.pdf

“The underlying ideology that informed the ANC and COSATU at formation, was of course Communism.  Now proven to be systemically and structurally flawed as a political and economic system, communism as a global contender died a sudden death. Yet, the aspirations, and many of the perspectives of it’s adherents have lingered.”

Marius Oosthuizen
Strategic Foresight Professional
cusp consulting
Cell: +27 (84) 670 1723
Email: marius
skype: marius.oosthuizen
twitter: @CUSPconsulting


  1. ANC has increasingly emphasised its right to govern by reference to its revolutionary past – in particular by claiming that its own armed struggle was mainly responsible for the overthrow of apartheid.Two more elctions then we can vote based on policies and economy. Communism was all there was on offer for MK, As ANC took the reins of South Africa’s state the movement was “pitched into a globalised free-enterprise environment it didn’t understand and was reluctant to accept.” In its seventeen years in power, shorn of its pro-Soviet ideology and it will be like that until 2 generations have passed!

  2. A good overview, Marius. The immediate national concern, in response, apart from questions of doctrine and the economy, is I suppose education. What astonishes me from a broad perspective is the big mining picture, and the largely unchanged dynamic of rural migrant workers seeking mine employment – apart from some social adjustments the dynamic is unchanged since the days of Rhodes, Beit et al, and herein lies the ANC’s failure to modernise, to swing around an unaltered old scenario. Thus pushing mines towards greater modernisation via mechanisation, leading to yet higher unemployment, yet more abject rural circumstances, yet more peri-urban settlement without resources, yet more inequality. Decent basic education leading to a real artisanal class across all communities could have staved this off, and allowed for local manufacturing beneficiation. It’s been a reckless lack of vision, failure to grasp kairos. Expedient receiving of tax, and building of a small elite plutocracy. Shoring up of old-school anthropological myth to placate rural leadership. NB: the three Carnegie Commissions – 1930, 1980, and now – an alternative history to the regime histories. Very telling. The outcome of the 1930 commission was as you know a full frontal and highly successful emphasis on education for the urban poor white. The ANC ought to be emulating that moment in wise ways. What a backlog to catch up on – if they ever can!

  3. Peter Merrington, your following sentence should be printed all over South Africa:
    “Decent basic education leading to a real artisanal class across all communities could have staved this off, and allowed for local manufacturing beatification.”

    Since 1994 South Africa is ruled by people who never have “worked” in other words: have build-up their lives. From the whole anc leadership, there is no productive person who can be regarded as a valuable asset in a modern society.

    As long all these “freedom-fighters” are not removed from government, that long will South Africa go downhill.

    1. Ta. The irony is, who would read it? The converted, i.e. a largely oppositional minority across communities, the educated or informed. What is needed first is tactics – direct simple party-political tactics – i.e. a kind of rough-and-ready political education to be given to the ANC loyalist majority of voters. No hope of intervention in the economy or skills pool overnight, but within two years before 2014 what can be done is a huge and well-considered push by the opposition as a coalition, to speak clearly, to disseminate in many languages, in clear terms, the broad picture to the electorate. If the ANC’s parliamentary majority can be slashed to 55% or less, and Gauteng and PE tip, then there is hope for a slow rebuilding, new focus. Ncinci-ncinci. Tho everything is indeed urgent.

      1. Thanks Frans. The Sowetan article is a quick symptomatic survey that suggests two underlying issues: ruralist and ethnically partisan KZN loyalism, that can be called up when needed; and cabal loyalism among a lot of highly placed interested parties, loyal through culpable complicity, or because of the rewards of high office. There’s not much that can be done about the former – it’s localised canvassing that’s needed there. The latter are unstable, entirely dependent on patronage, and the way that the ANC appears to be headed this network of patronage is not to be taken that seriously. It’ll collapse in time, with new figures in, old figures out, court actions, rustication with packages, and so forth. Meanwhile the opposition gains ground.

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