IT WOULD be naïve 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 was the view of Moeletsi Mbeki who was forthright in his views on the outcome of the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung this week, where Zuma was re-elected as leader of the party.
“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 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 deputy president, reports suggested that this would boost investor confidence in the country and stabilise the 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.
“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 Tatana, 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 inaptitude. We are seeing the electorate that is becoming more and more disgruntled and disillusioned.”
Moeletsi said South Africa was not a full democracy and had a flawed electoral system.
“We have a dysfunctional political system that depends on deals. What we need is an electoral reform so that members of parliament are elected directly by the people.
‘‘The mayors too must be elected by the people in their constituencies instead of being imposed from above or through the party lists. [US president Barack] Obama is, for instance, elected directly by the people, and that’s what we need to bring us to a true democracy.”