Tony Ehrenreich
Western Cape Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich last night said they no longer supported President Jacob Zuma and wanted his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, to ascend to the highest office in the land and the ANC.

“We want Zuma out because of the problems he has made. We want Cyril Ramaphosa to take over,” Ehrenreich said. “Cyril is a better prospect than Zuma. He would not want to steal from the public purse.”

Ehrenreich described the era since Zuma took the reins as being characterised by crude enrichment that had an effect on governance and the country’s credit rating.

The period, he said, was also characterised by “horrible” rifts in Cosatu that had led to Numsa and Fawu leaving the labour federation because of Zuma.

Ehrenreich made the statements during a public debate titled “ANC and the current political crisis”, that was organised by the Amandla publication and Alternative Information and Development Centre in Cape Town.

Also speaking was SACP deputy secretary Jeremy Cronin, who called for a “real” second phase of radical economic transformation.

“What we require is the real second phase of radical economic transformation,” he said in apparent dismissal of Zuma’s call for radical economic transformation.

Cronin expressed his doubts that the governing party could revive itself in light of the trajectory it was on.

He painted the ANC as being in a state of steep decline that affected not just its members and supporters, but the rest of the South Africa. Cronin said the problems in the ANC did not originate with the removal of Thabo Mbeki as ANC president in Polokwane, but could be traced back to an era when the economy was de-racialised in favour of the elite through black economic empowerment.

“Since 2014, (there has) been a parasitic network inside the ANC. It has become more reckless than before,” Cronin said.

He said there was also growing “populist ideology” which was being unleashed by “parasitic elements”. He said for the ANC to be revived, there had to be “different politics” – a “patriotic front”.

Cronin said that the struggles of this patriotic front should be embedded much closer to the issues and struggles of the working class.