Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
At the defeat last week of the “second transition” strategy for the ANC, party executives argued fiercely against linking this to President Zuma’s bid for a second term. They were out to kill any interpretation of a no-confidence vote of sorts.
It was clear that Zuma had fancied the concept of a “second transition”. He had bought it, even punted it. Its rejection was no small thing, therefore. It was a defeat for him, though it cannot at this stage be extrapolated as terminal for his ambitions for a second term.
ANC executives sought to downplay the party’s choice of “second phase of the transition” as pretty much the same thing. They emphasised that the strategic thrust was the same – also aiming at radical change, a phrase that punctuated the ANC’s fourth policy conference.
“Second transition” had been intended to excite ANC delegates, to rally them around a new mantra. It was designed to place them at the threshold of a next era, and to promise major moves.
Implicit in the “second transition” was thinking that phase one, political emancipation, had been accomplished – that it was time to move to economic and social liberation and the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
Allowing Zuma’s government to move on, and effectively portray the “first transition” as successfully accomplished, would have amounted to a lie. It would have let if off the hook.
There is still much to do in the “first transition”. It was cruel for Zuma that the shame of undelivered schoolbooks in Limpopo burst as he proposed to move on to the next chapter. But this disgrace was a valid commentary, nonetheless, on the state of several government departments.
Yes, there have been impressive achievements in 18 years. But it is to the ANC’s credit that it was not swayed by the slick packaging of a “second transition” when the party has not yet proved equal to the first.