South Africa is facing its worst crisis. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) party’s capacity is going to be stretched to its outermost limits during 2016. It is also the year that municipal elections take place, which will determine if the the ANC can hold on to power. Within ANC factions, there are signs of revolt in at least three provinces. Violence is a natural feather of branch meetings in the Northwest province. The ANC is part of the macro dynamic system, and the problem with the ANC is that it is not moving with the current flow.
People are angry, frustrated, and annoyed that the government has ignored the plight of the poor for over 21 years. The drought is so severe that food subsidies are needed to avoid famine, and imports are rising in an attempt to avoid starvation. The availability of water now and in the future looks bleak, and the management of the water system is ready to break the back of South Africa. The ongoing power issues are a primary threat in South Africa and, with the winter months rapidly approaching, could spell disaster.
There is no money for free university education. The student movement will have to accept this fact, or tertiary education will be doomed for another year. The recent student protests for free education are continuing, and there is no quick solution. Public education is a mess, and the government does not seem to have a solution or plan to resolve the ongoing shortage of textbooks. There is a lack of funding for employing competent teachers. What is the likely outcome of the standoff with university students?
The Rand continues to slide amid growth prospects. Investors continue to diversify into safer currencies and better operating areas. China continues to cut demand for South African commodities. Taxes were raised, causing poverty to increase. The situation is a real and growing tragedy urgently in need of better management. South Africa’s resources should not be reduced, despite external influences such as the Chinese market.
More mines are closing down, which is raising the unemployment rate, and there is no plan to create future jobs. People need grants from the government, but the money well is running dry. As a result, many are resorting to criminal activities in an attempt to survive. The government cannot handle the escalating crime that is becoming dangerous to South African citizens. Corruption and bribery are natural elements within the departments of government.
President Jacob Zuma has two serious cases to answer to around March 2016; the spy tapes saga and the rationality of the session to drop the 783 corruption charges. There is also the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) matter in the constitutional court regarding the money spent on the Nkandla homestead.
Is the ANC parasitic in a way and does the ruling party survive by feeding on the blood of the unsuspecting voters? Those who are fortunate enough to still be in managing positions should minimize the suffering of the poor and the unemployed. The ANC has nothing on the table to improve the situation on deteriorating fronts. There is nothing that appears to be the innovative, imaginative competency that South Africa needs. The ANC is going to come out of this brutally bruised.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
Marxist – South Africa: The Crisis of the Zuma Presidency
Mail and Guardian – Zuma braces for battles on two fronts
Featured Photo Courtesy of Ian’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License