The Sunday Times reported that the technocrats warned: “If we want to make a significant impact on voter mood we need to use the next 15 months to demonstrate political will, concrete actions and capacity to deal with these issues.

“This includes concrete and drastic action (not just statements) against corruption, especially among our leaders, and to strengthen the capacity of the state to investigate and prosecute offenders.

“We also have to provide clear action and proof that we are prioritising job creation and economic development and that our efforts are bearing fruit.”

If this doesn’t happen, the paper warns, then it is the back benches at provincial and national level for the party. Not even the so-called Ramaphosa Effect will help: “The outcomes of (the ANC Nasrec) conference have led to a more positive mood in the media and economy, but it should not be mistaken for a massive change in voter behaviour ... Turning the situation around requires drastic and immediate action.”

The African National Congress is its own worst enemy. Presented by the breakthrough in December with a chance to rescue itself from decline, it chooses to engage in internal civil war and squander the chances to renew itself. Given the gift of an inspirational and clear-eyed new leader in Cyril Ramaphosa, it chooses to try and collapse his new government. The question now is whether we have underestimated the extent to which the rot has seeped into the marrow of Oliver Tambo’s party. Perhaps corruption, in-fighting and factionalism are so deeply embedded within the marrow of the party that the ANC cannot rescue itself and cannot even be made to resuscitate itself by the prospect of electoral defeat.The ANC’s technocrats have sifted through research and have warned the party that it is in danger of losing power. In a document prepared ahead of the next provincial and national elections and published in part by the Sunday Times on Sunday, the technocrats warn that the ANC faces the cl...

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