Luthuli House, the ANC's headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: SOWETAN
Luthuli House, the ANC's headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: SOWETAN

Michael Morris’s lament about our main political parties being “all at sea” (October 7) is essentially an indictment on the quality and competence of those who are paid to serve the public interest.

Taxpayers do not fund our politicians to flounder. They pay them to exercise the responsibility of the progressive government of the country’s citizens and improve their quality of life.

There are many fine and honourable individuals within the ranks of our political parties but unless they are allowed to rise above those who put self-advancement and personal ambition ahead of the national interest, we are condemned to a state of socioeconomic “changelessness”, as Morris puts it, and a further slide into abject poverty and a continuing miserable existence for so many of our already disadvantaged people.

This political stagnation was again sadly revealed in the ANC national executive committee’s damp squib response to the Treasury’s proposals for the restoration of growth to the SA economy. It should have been a seminal moment for the ANC to inspire and instill new confidence and investment in our economy by adopting the proposals in their entirety and demanding immediate implementation. But it turned out to be nothing more than a lame-duck effort to pull the wool over our eyes with ANC-speak and a reiteration of their hitherto unkept promises.

The NEC, in deference to its allies and factions, simply buried its head in the sand with respect to all the really meaningful proposals from the Treasury, dealing with state-owned entities, budget cuts, the labour market and the minimum wage — and so perpetuated our political sterility.

Numbed as we are by this continued political paralysis and internal divisiveness, we can only hope that our political parties tear themselves apart, rather than our country,  and make room for a new political centre to emerge that serves the national interest and gains its support.

David Gant

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