[Letter] Dire ANC policies and excesses may well worsen

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently stated that the recommendations of the Zondo state capture commission were not binding. That comment formed part of a response he submitted to the Johannesburg high court last week regarding the DA’s application that ANC cadre deployment be declared illegal and unconstitutional. The commission found that as a result of state capture, more than R57bn had been looted from state coffers.

The president’s comment adds further evidence to the argument that substantive reform, especially in terms of how the governing party views its relationship with state organs and institutions, is unlikely to take place. The ANC holds its cadre deployment policy, and the outflows thereof, as a crucial aspect of the realisation of the “national democratic revolution”.

There will be superficial acknowledgment that the policy has wrought negative, corrupt consequences, but the party believes it can alter those consequences by simply getting the “right” people into the correct positions.

That the party should use its control over, and through, organs of the state, is seen as both necessary and good. As a result of a tighter global economic climate, added to the destructive effects of its own ideology and policies on the economy, the governing party may begrudgingly “take on” reforms, but these are set to be cosmetic at best, and will not change the fundamental relationship between party and state.

As the ANC experiences more pressure heading into the 2024 elections, we may well see a doubling-down of the worst policies and excesses. Cadre deployment has been a success in terms of extending control throughout the state and economy, and a more desperate party will seek to maintain said control and patronage networks for as long as possible.

This letter was originally published here.


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