Johannesburg - It would be naive for South Africans to expect anything new from the newly elected ANC executive under Jacob Zuma because the same political and administrative ills that have hampered service delivery will persist.
And, contrary to popular belief, not even the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as Zuma’s deputy will give the ailing ruling party a new lease of life.
This is the view of a forthright Moeletsi Mbeki on the outcome of the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung this week, which saw Zuma being re-elected as leader.
“There is no difference between the previous and the new. Nothing new. Ramaphosa and (former KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli]) Mkhize have always been there. Cyril was there in the NEC (national executive committee) and has always been a participant,” said Mbeki, a political economist and deputy chairman of the SA Institute of International Affairs.
Following Ramaphosa’s election as ANC deputy president, reports suggested this would boost investor confidence in the country and stabilise financial markets. The notion was heightened by reports that the rand had, following the billionaire’s election into the ANC’s top six, extended gains to a more than two-month high.
But Mbeki cautioned against this optimism.
“People are making a mistake, as if Cyril is an unknown quantity. This is totally exaggerated. Under the leadership of Zuma, the killing of innocent people, as in Marikana, the killing of innocent demonstrators, as in Andries Tatane, and the poor administration, such as the non-delivery of textbooks, would continue. These are the same people.”
“The ANC’s voting popularity has been declining since Zuma took over because of the corruption, incompetence and ineptitude. The electorate is becoming more and more disgruntled and disillusioned.”
Part of the problem, he said, was that South Africa was not yet a full democracy and had a flawed electoral system.