The ANC has a responsibility towards South Africans to emerge from its national conference in Mangaung with a realistic and workable plan for the country.
The approximately 6000 delegates attending Mangaung must not forget that their decisions will directly impact the lives of over 50 million South Africans. This is a huge responsibility to carry and we urge the delegates to think for the benefit of all South Africans and not only in terms of the top echelons of the ANC.
The party needs to give serious consideration to issues like the country’s unsatisfactory leadership, service delivery problems, corruption, underpaid workers and unemployment. After Mangaung the ANC, government and all South Africans will still face these same issues and challenges and a workable plan is necessary to tackle these.
UASA believes the implementation of any plan will fail without the buy-in of all South Africans. What needs to emerge from Mangaung is a special type of leadership that will convince South Africans of all backgrounds to join forces in working towards a better future, coupled with greater efficiency on all levels of government, business and trade unions.
Sadly, the kind of leadership we hope for was not displayed by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe this week when he accused sectors of society of trying to manipulate the outcome of Mangaung after the banking, business and cleric sector expressed opinions about what should be prioritised during the conference. The clerics, in a letter to pres. Jacob Zuma, warned about the public losing its moral compass and stated that South Africa’s democracy “can be significantly improved”. UASA can hardly describe this as manipulative and urges the ANC to listen carefully to the thoughts and opinions of the citizens of South Africa.
Without this, we may find ourselves on the verge of anarchy, the first signs of which were already visible at Marikana and De Doorns.
The country is in crisis, and Mangaung may hold the key to a solution – but only if our leaders put people and country first.