BRIDGING THE DIVIDE
GARETH VAN ONSELEN: Ramaphosa and the grand consensus
Never before in democratic SA’s political history have so many agreed on so much. But the ANC’s December conference will determine whether that consensus can be put to good use
The primary problems SA faces are so acute that the necessary solutions — self-evident in nature — cross ideological divides. Could it be that one of the bizarre consequences of the ANC’s ruinous governance, at some point in the future, will be a grand consensus on how to resolve the crisis? If it is, the party’s elective conference would seem to be key in determining how close such an eventuality actually is. Jacob Zuma’s disastrous presidency has divided as much as it has unified. The implications for the ANC and its relationship with its alliance partners have been catastrophic. The party itself is fundamentally and violently divided; likewise, its alliance partners — the SACP and Cosatu — are creaking under the weight of factionalism. But key role players across the board do seem united about certain overarching problems — things like "state capture", the state of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the dire condition of the economy, and corruption and mismanagement.On on these issu...