South Africa reaps the harvest the ANC government sowed

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Appalling levels of violence in South Africa are the sole responsibility of the African National Congress government.

The headline reason for the violence is the jailing of former Prime Minister Jacob Zuma for refusing to appear before a commission investigating industrial-scale corruption during his time as Prime Minister. Zuma has begun a 15-month sentence and his supporters around the country have gone on the rampage. The government has called out the army and the scenes of violence and looting are the worst since the days of the old apartheid regime.

But Zuma is not the problem. The violence is not the problem. The ANC is the problem. 

When the ANC were voted into government, discrimination against the black majority because of their race transitioned seamlessly into discrimination because of their social class – and nothing much changed.

The ANC refused to transform the economy from serving the needs of local and foreign multinationals to serving the needs of South Africa’s impoverished majority. They simply kept the whole rotten apartheid economy going on much as before.

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A few of the faces at the top changed from white to black but the oppressive economic structures continued.

South Africa’s current Prime Minister Cyril Ramaphosa was put in place by the ANC ostensibly to root out corruption but he is at the core of the problem. It was Ramaphosa, on behalf of the mining companies, who pressured the police to intervene in the miners’ strike at Marikana in 2012 which led to the massacre of 34 black miners by the South African police.

Marikana was the ANC’s Sharpeville massacre. Ramaphosa’s hands are dripping with blood.

Ramaphosa has gone from a hero of the anti-apartheid struggle in the 1980s as the head of the South African Union of Mineworkers to just another venal, corrupt, sellout politician.

The most precious commodity for the poor and the oppressed is hope. Hope that your children will have better life opportunities that you have. People will put up with a hell of a lot if they see that hope. The ANC is draining it away – surely and steadily. Their electoral support has been dropping for 25 years now. In the last elections in 2019 it was down to 57.4% from 62% in 2014. 

The ANC has been given a lot of leeway by the electorate but, along with hope, time is running out.

There are plenty of apologists for the ANC who say the ANC had no choice but to go along with neo-liberal economics in the 1990s because it was the dominant economic model of the time and had the ANC significantly deviated it would have lost foreign investment and been unable to take on major housing and education programmes for example. 

These same people defend similar logic regarding the New Zealand Labour Party’s self-imposed enslavement to neoliberal economics. Black South Africans and low-income New Zealanders have a lot in common as victims of free-market capitalism.

I get regular messages on Facebook from white South Africans blaming the anti-apartheid movement for all the problems in South Africa. These people are simply racist – they long for a return to the days of apartheid when blacks were slaves in a racist white economy. They are right to hate the ANC – not for being in government but for failing to transform the economy and provide hope and opportunities for South Africa’s economically oppressed majority.

So in the new South Africa the rich have got even richer and the poor have got even poorer – just as free-market capitalism is designed to deliver.

The challenge for progressive forces in South Africa is to build a mass movement to defeat the ANC and its crippling economic policies.

As Bishop Tutu said at one time “The ANC has stopped the gravy train just long enough to get on”

35 COMMENTS

  1. It’s the fault of the ANC of course because it’s happened on their watch, but it’s nothing to do with a failure to transform the economy. Instead it’s entirely due to corruption, incompetence and nepotism within the ANC.

    It’s like night follows day for me. Having spent 20 years of my life working across sub Saharan Africa I’ve lost count of the number of black African governments that destroyed their own countries. Marxist thugs whose only skill was destroying things, taking over once successful and prosperous countries and the results are inevitable. This is just the start in SA. The ANC has a stranglehold on office and will never let go. Just like all those other governments in the region, they will ride it into the ground. Their democracy is a sham.

    Blacks in South Africa today are significantly worse off than they were in the Apartheid era, so maybe you should have watched the Springboks play instead of protesting?

    • Strong words there Andrew. Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. The end goal is the motivation and the hope. This planet of humanity et al will evolve eventually. NZs stance on aparteid during the springbok tour was a righteous one. May we always stand up when it counts

    • To put it as politely as possible for racist fool Andrew…go stand in the naughty corner for 28 years (the length of Nelson Mandela’s jail time).

      The international solidarity movement did totally the right thing in supporting and assisting the downfall of apartheid in South Africa. The shaping of the new RSA was always going to depend on the people themselves.

      The ANC had the great misfortune to assume office at the height of neo liberalism. Corporations were vital in tipping the balance and pressuring the SA regime to finally submit–but it was a deal with the devil. International capital wanted special status and unfettered ability to keep operating in South Africa.

      During the anti apartheid struggle in New Zealand many supported the ANC and freedom charter and smaller numbers including John Minto urged supporting the PAC (Pan African Congress). The freedom charter was vague on the point of nationalisation of public infrastructure and extractive industry, the PAC was more openly socialist.

    • To put it as politely as possible for racist fool Andrew…go stand in the naughty corner for 28 years (approx the length of Nelson Mandela’s jail time).

      The international solidarity movement did totally the right thing in supporting and assisting the downfall of apartheid in South Africa. The shaping of the new RSA was always going to depend on the people themselves mounting the next stage of the struggle for a socialist country.

      The ANC had the great misfortune to assume office at the height of neo liberalism. Global Corporations were instrumental in tipping the balance and pressuring the SA regime to finally submit–but it was a deal with the devil. International capital wanted special status and unfettered ability to keep operating in South Africa, even with black middle managers and other minor concessions.

      During the anti apartheid struggle in New Zealand many supported the ANC and freedom charter and smaller numbers including John Minto urged supporting the PAC (Pan African Congress) to play a prominent role. The freedom charter was always vague on the point of nationalisation of public infrastructure and extractive industry, the PAC was more openly socialist. The ANC had the drawcard of Mandela who was gold for publicity purposes, if only more people had looked at the detail as to who was going to fight for the people post apartheid.

      Anyway, hordes of surly white South Africans bailed, and buggered off to places like NZ to annoy us here! A lot of them really seem to detest Māori people and other non whites, in my experience of them in industry and in public too.
      So again the people will have to organise and dump the ANC in subsequent elections and peoples movements to build the type of RSA that delivers for working class people.

    • When I travelled through Africa in 98, I spent time in and around the border towns of Uganda, Zaire (now the Republic of Congo) and Rwanda. This was only 4 years after the Rawandan genocide. There’s a certain expectation that some scores are still unsettled and this remains throughout much of Africa, who remember are staunchly tribal.

      I learnt the saying, “in Africa we don’t say ‘never again’, we say ‘until next time”

      Totally fear for South Africa, please don’t let it become another Zimbabwe

    • Nailed it, Andrew. I witnessed the whole ghastly process myself during my years in Africa. Seems Minto has never heard of tribalism? It’s the blacks’ version of apartheid.

    • Andrew just proved John Minto right ,,,
      “These people are simply racist – they long for a return to the days of apartheid when blacks were slaves in a racist white economy.

      Andrew conveniently leaves out the fact that the largest exploitation and corruption keeping Africa poor ,,, is capitalist corporations and bankers partnering up with Dictators , Oligarchs and Warlords.

      Stealing Africa⎜WHY POVERTY?⎜(Documentary) https://youtu.be/WNYemuiAOfU?t=241

      Nigeria has the unenviable distinction of being at the bottom of the Africa ranking ,,,,,, One in 10 children dies before they reach their fifth birthday,5 and more than 10 million children do not go to school.6 Sixty % of these are girls.7 ,,,

      “Shell’s exploitation of oil in Nigeria goes back to the period of British colonial rule. ” ,,, “Fifty years of exploitation and Shell’s continuous oil spills have left the region an ecological disaster, with its soil no longer viable for agriculture and its ground water massively contaminated with carcinogens. The Ogoni people saw their livelihoods destroyed, while they received nothing from the billions of dollars that Shell extracted from the region.”
      Shell Oil and mass killings in Africa https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/18/shell-d18.html

      Often the looted money from the Shell’s , the Glencores and all the other Corps , and from the corrupt local leaders ,,, a lot of their dirty money is funneled through the british established tax havens ,,,,, which makes London the leading crime center in the world.

      ““If I asked you what is the most corrupt place on Earth you might tell me it’s Afghanistan, maybe Greece, Nigeria, the South of Italy, and I will tell you it’s the UK. “,,,,,
      ,,,, “Anti-corruption campaigners have backed an Italian mafia expert who claimed the UK was a global centre for corruption.” ,,, ““It’s absolutely true that the UK is one of the leading financial centres for the laundering of corrupt money from overseas, ” https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/uk-global-corruption-centre-campaigners-claim-a7058126.html

      And I’m not sure if Andrews more stupid than he is dishonest ,,,,

      But the only country in Africa which had a decent run of using it’s resources for the benefit of its people ,, was Libya and it’s use of Socialism.

      And it went from being one of the poorest countries in the world , When Bp was stealing their oil O to the richest country in Africa ,,, before NATO bombed them back to poverty, violence and,,, even slave markets.

      “Before US-NATO Invasion, Libya Had The Highest
      Human Development Index , The Lowest Infant Mortality,
      The Highest Life Expectancy In All Of Africa” https://www.countercurrents.org/cramer040511.htm

    • Replying to Sinic and Tiger Mountain:

      While your position may have been righteous it could also have been plain wrong. Because the road to hell is paved with good intentions, isn’t it?

      Blaming neoliberalism for the failure of SA is a bit of a laugh because the international evidence shows that the most successful nations are the ones that are also the most (neo) liberal. Also, what about all the other failures in that continent? Did they also fall prey to Neoliberalism? Several nations further north went full Marxist and totally collapsed in a few short years. Africans blame a host of causes for the endemic failures in that continent: Colonialism, Racism, Capitalism, Neoliberalism, etc but rarely to they look hard at themselves in the mirror.

      One of the reasons for the failure of African states has been the imposition of racial quotas in job appointments. (In SA it is BEE: black economic empowerment) It promotes incompetent and corrupt people into high positions. I advise Kiwis to take note of the consequences with respect to similar moves being proposed by the current government here.

      • Aotearoa is one of the most ‘neo-liberal’ countries in the world and we also have one of the highest levels of inequality in the developed world. Please tell me those that you think are so successful under neo liberalism.

        And now I see you are warning people about ‘he puapua’. We of the colonial kind think we should still be top dog and to hell with what colonialism did to tangata whenua.

        Of course when the colonists carved up Africa they didn’t think about the tribal boundaries at all.

    • Not mentioned in the essay is the issue of tribalism, Zuma and the rioters are Zulu. These loyalties, and the hate and violence we are seeing is along tribal lines so there is a similarity with the situation that exploded in Rwanda as Bg has pointed out. That doesn’t excuse the corruption and incompetence (or the dismal prospects for everyday South Africans that result) but it’s well to remember that they are a catalyst for a resurrection of ancient animosities. Fundamentally no different to racism itself I suppose.

  2. When is someone going to point out it is not the race of those driving inequality but the actions of power in charge?

    Until the woke brigade work out how to unite people instead of disunite people based on their race/gender/sex, then they will never get change.

    Woke speak has been the biggest bonus for inequality and that is why woke is spreading around the globe to the labourites and Greens and getting more dysfunctional, no doubt helped with donations by the capitalist system to keep that distraction going – funded climate denial style.

    Yep, weird how much of the western world is now obsessed with making sure that transgender transitioning as woman are now apparently woman, with all the pro nouns and changes to language needed like chest-feeding. The hate speech doesn’t seem to not worry that some in the trans community is going around harassing and in some cases giving death threats (aka Bomber) to others who don’t agree with them.

    The mayor’s attitude to woman, doesn’t seem to be very ‘kind’.

    Woman’s group expected to meet in council waste bins… must be the neokindness at work again!

    Lower Hutt’s Mayor has apologised after saying controversial group Speak Up For Women could hold one of their events in a council waste bin. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/speak-up-for-women-controversy-billboard-removed-mayor-apologises/CGUGDIAATDU3CCE56TUMCMJOQM/

    Happening around the world.
    https://www.chimamanda.com/news_items/it-is-obscene-a-true-reflection-in-three-parts/

    Meanwhile you can identify yourself as any race as well as sex, apparently.
    https://www.tmz.com/2021/06/28/british-influencer-18-surgeries-bts-park-jimin-identifies-korean/

    Woke are removing woman’s status and language, and will soon transition to indigenous races with transracial changes… anytime soon someone might decide to become iwi and then successfully make land claims… sounds ridiculous, but only a matter of time.

    Transgender has always been part of life and accepted, like Fa’afafine in Samoa and many other cultures. What is happening now is clearly something very calculated to create diversion and disunity and remove many hard won rights from the civil rights movement in the 1970’s.

    People are now expected to have little security in their lives so are being groomed to obsess about themselves and language…. as bomber says

    “They couldn’t impact the neoliberal economic hegemony but they could savagely police micro aggressions and conflate everything into the worst subjective pain ever.

    Add in social media and algorithms designed to enhance dramas alongside critical race and gender theories and you have a cacophony of wounds fighting for social hierarchy.

    In the subjective world of the woke, a misuse of the language dictates of the conclave can be elevated into a genocide against disabled queer babies within one tweet.

    That’s why the Hate Speech law debate is becoming so radioactive.”

  3. Whilst not agreeing with all Andrew says he is in the main correct.
    Corruption,greed,blatant disregard for the law and no regard whatsoever for the people is the cause.
    Another wealthy country pillaged by incompetence.
    Not sure how free market capitalism caused this tragedy.

    • If you are a wealthy multi national corporation, it is generally cheaper to spend a few million “greasing” the wheels to gain access to a resource worth billions, than to risk fairly sharing the profits. If you find the rare incorruptible leader, who won’t take the money, it is usually relatively easy to find a replacement who will. There are plenty of levers to pull if you have enough money & power. Intelligence, morals & ethics have no colour, and neither does greed & corruption. It is hard to win when the game is so rigged against you.

    • The uncomfortable truth, backed by all of the empirical evidence in the world, is that Africa is the way it is solely because of Africans. We can wish it was some other reason, but it isn’t. You can’t blame the shit show that is South Africa has become since the end of apartheid, nor the dysfunctional state of every other country in sub-Saharan Africa, on “whitey” or “systemic racism.” However, admitting this fact leaves the treasured principle of egalitarianism a smoking ruin.

  4. I absolutely disagree, sure there is corruption and incompetence and nepotism but the real issue is following the market economy. The poor get poorer and the rich get richer as they have all around the world.

    Given your last comment, you presumably think that blacks should not have the vote. The demonstrations were about apartheid after all. I can think of lots of other countries that have corrupt governments all following the capitalist model, they certainly aren’t all in Africa.

    • That’s just it though, they do have the vote and they keep voting in the ANC. They’re getting the politicians and the sham of democracy that they deserve.

      To the posters saying that this is a capitalist market failure – what utter rubbish. The ANC have been in power for long enough to change the economy, to build up other parts of their society. Instead they have chosen like most other ruling elites across Africa to enrich themselves at the expense of their own people.

      Greed and corruption will see SA descend into another Zimbabwe. It is this that has sunk them nothing else.

      • South Africa is inexorably going the way of Zimbabwe, both formerly developed and ordered countries run by whites. We can admit the causation here, or we can continue to blame it on anything but the real reason. I expect it will be the latter though.

          • Well, I’m right though. Name a developed and ordered Black majority nation: they don’t exist. Nobody is migrating to Africa, it is the exact opposite. I don’t care if this upsets you, it is a fact.

    • If you look at the data Michel, in those nations practicing liberal, free trade policies BOTH the rich and poor get richer. So successful have these policies been in the former 3rd world that tens of millions have been uplifted out of poverty and into the middle class.

      40 years ago when the NZ economy was based on pastoral farming, neither India nor China could feed themselves. Korea was a wasteland and Thailand was a malarial swamp. Today those nations have education systems that surpass ours and two have landed robots on the moon. Meanwhile we’re still reliant on pastoral farming.

  5. Ohhh I see the ‘whataboutism’ is strong in the posters on this topic!
    ‘How can I ‘kinda’ blame the ANC and the blacks in power for the almost total collapse of Sth African economy without sounding like im blaming the black govt….hmm I know I will throw in a few ‘whataboutisms’ and no one will call me racist’
    Reading the comments thus far…pretty much nails it!

    • We don’t have to contort ourselves into impossible intellectual positions in order to invoke every possible reason except for the most obvious reason, which is the one with the most explanatory power, and given the support offered to this reason by the many other examples in Africa. If that’s racist, then so be it. Lots of people would apparently prefer to feel comfortable that to admit the truth, because if they were to admit the truth, most of their political worldview would be defunct.

  6. J Minto: “victims of free-market capitalism”
    Free Market capitalism, seriously? SA has a huge state owned sector. Airways, airlines, transport, railways, telecoms, power, broadcasting, mining, power, petroleum production and processing, natural gas, forestry, water infrastructure, post office, arms manufacture, R & D etc. plus all the more usual government run things – education, corrections etc.

    There’s plenty wrong about SA, an excessively capitalist economy is not one of them, the more socialist countries in Africa are even worse. If you want to help, try and find the truth and stop making up excuses that are just an extension of your failed ideology.
    This is all just patronising bullshit from the Great White Saviour Minto.

    • Andrew is wrong and John is his illiterate side kick ,,, Neo lib is the new way of stealing ,,, the modern way.

      Libya was one of the poorest countries in the world mired in backwardness in education, health, housing, social security, among others.

      The low literacy rates were shocking, according to Meyssan, only 250,000 inhabitants of the four million could read and write.,,, This was back when British Petroleum ‘free trade’ was stealing their oil.,,,, to a much better country for its citizens within two generations .

      The facts and stats don’t lie ,, ambitious social programs were launched in the areas of education, health, housing, public works and subsidies for electricity and basic foodstuffs.

      Prior to the US-led bombing campaign in 2011, Libya had the highest Human Development Index, the lowest infant mortality and the highest life expectancy in all of Africa.

      A high rate of trachoma formerly left 10 percent or more of the population blinded or with critically impaired vision, but by the late 1970s the disease was brought under control.

      The (pre-Nato) low percentage of people without access to safe water (3 percent), health services (0 percent) and sanitation (2 percent), and a relatively high life expectancy (70.2 years) in 1998 indicate the improved living standards. Adequate health care and subsidized foodstuffs have sharply reduced infant mortality, from 105 per 1,000 live births in 1970 to 20 per 1,000 live births in 1998. The government also subsidizes education, which is compulsory and free between the ages of 6 and 15.

      although it may be hard to determine how much of the improvements in Libya were due to stopping BP’s theft of their resources ,,, versus their application of Wealth Distribution / Socialism.

      Anyway Nato fucked it all and you would pity anyone trying to raise their children their now.

      I bet the Neo Lib arms trade made a lot of blood money out Libya ,,,, and Obamas / Clintons gift of now having Slave Markets in Libya is quite fitting ,,,,
      for Slave Markets are pure unrestrained capitalism ,,, the morality of a totally free market.

      …………………..

      Andrew aside from having no example of a neo-lib country coming anywhere near Libya’s socialist statistics,,,, aside from that…..

      He could teach us about British spider behavior ,,, which is their last vestige of empire ,,, Still making money from the looting of the world. The Spider’s Web Britains Second Empire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zT9pa5AOuE

      Britian is currently Boris balls deep in Yemen ,,, making good coin from a industry which produces dead children by the tens of thousands ,, Relentlessly Killed in the most cruel sadistic ways.

      And so, considering Britannias historical use of concentration camps in Africa ,,,,https://allthatsinteresting.com/boer-war#7
      https://allthatsinteresting.com/boer-war#3
      https://allthatsinteresting.com/boer-war

      It seems your country has not changed very much Andrew. … “A big part of the problem with Yemen is that the photos of starving kids are too often captioned with “Ohh, look how sad” instead of “Your government is doing this on purpose.” https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/07/09/the-problem-with-yemen-notes-from-the-edge-of-the-narrative-matrix/

      What kind of tribe are Andrews English ?.

        • I’m using Libya as an exa mple of huge strides made in living standards ,,,,using a socialist wealth re-distribution measures.

          So your just a ignorant racist pommy Moron.

          Such is the violence of Andrews english tribe,,, that their flag the Union Jack , is known as the ‘Butchers Apron’ .

          Here’s some more of Britians Concentration camps in Africa ,,, “Members of the Kikuyu tribe were detained in camps, since described as “Britain’s gulags” or concentration camps, where they allege they were systematically tortured and suffered serious sexual assault.

          Estimates of the deaths vary widely: historian David Anderson estimates there were 20,000, whereas Caroline Elkins believes up to 100,000 could have died.”

          As Yemen shows us ,,,Britain with it’s continual use of mass murder and violence ,, knows how to turn whole regions and countries into concentration camps.

          The ‘who cares’ attitude of Andrews tribe to Englands past, present and ongoing crimes is quite revealing.

          Britians actions in Yemen or Libya ,,, and attitudes like Andrews …. Make the Chinese application of the word “Barbarians”to Englishmen or Westerners 100%factually correct as defined by any english dictionary..

          “In the last couple of centuries we’ve progressed all the way from expecting our leaders to murder brown-skinned people while saying racist things to expecting our leaders to murder brown-skinned people while condemning racism. The murder hasn’t changed, and the racism hasn’t really changed either. All that’s changed is the norms of how it is put into practice.”
          *************************

          The poster ‘Im right’ has previously called for a war with Iran ,,,, even though it would cause lots of “Broken Eggs” ,,,,

          Andrew and Im rights tribe thinks of these things as “Broken Eggs” ,,, https://www.trbimg.com/img-55e7809f/turbine/la-fg-syria-drowned-toddler-20150902

          https://caityjohnstone.medium.com/we-are-the-terrorists-e86c1c4483fb

          I’ll finish by saying the dishonest violent pirates tribe of Andrew and co ,,,, will be unable to produce any neo lib examples of a country advancing so far so quickly,,, as Libyas proven example of uplifting their population out of abject poverty.

          Andrew has nothing …

          And he should be pointing the finger at himself for a violent and corrupt heritage. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/worst-atrocities-british-empire-amritsar-boer-war-concentration-camp-mau-mau-a6821756.html

          Back to South Africa with it’s history reaching into the present.

          Apartheid Did Not Die (End The Lie). https://youtu.be/P_gggPRLeic?t=1873

  7. Sinic,
    Your comments albeit sub conscious to give you the benefit of the doubt are racist.
    “ Humanity will evolve eventually”

  8. Really? You don’t think the fact that recent cut to the SA national police budget by 11.2 billion rand had anything to do with it? That is roughly 750,000,000 USD fyi.

    Or perhaps you believe the budget cuts the ANC too?

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