S.Africa: The ANC’s neocolonialist rhetoric will not eradicate poverty

By IndepthAfrica
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Jan 30th, 2013
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Africans are now sick and tired of liberation political parties, who can only boast about the past.

I read last week that a prominent female ANC leader in South Africa has accused the DA of being neocolonialists who want to take South Africa backwards. Next to that article, was a report that South African ministers had spent around R65 million on renovations of their residences. Below that, was an article talking about how a President Zuma’s supporter surreptitiously   landed a R1, 25 billion electricity smart-meters tender. The same day, it was also reported that South African state enterprises, spent R25 million to fund ANC/New Age breakfast sessions on SABC 2. And so it went on.

Now I ask you, who is taking South Africa backwards?

Of course, this also happens here in Zimbabwe. Neocolonialists are blamed for everything that’s wrong about Zimbabwe, including the pot holes that we see everywhere. This is so, while we see the plundering of our national resources by a power cabal made up of ZANU (PF) and the Chinese (see my last article on Chinese Imperialism in Zimbabwe). I have no doubt that we are going to see more rhetoric and colonialist nonsense this year, as we move towards elections. Our socio-economic problems will, once more, be blamed on those that have absolutely nothing to do with the incompetence of our political leadership.

In my opinion, a lot of black South Africans are in denial of what is coming around the corner, but let me warn you; As long as you accept mediocre political leadership that is earned through participation in the armed struggle, and as long as the one party remains the majority party in government; you are going to create a leadership that feels entitled to power, regardless of how they perform in the eradication of poverty. It is also likely that, a significant number of skills will go elsewhere and your economy is going to suffer. In the mean time, ANC cronies will get wealthier while blaming the whites for lack of economic transformation. Unfortunately, this old formula, where politicians continually shift the burden of social problems to the “enemy”, always works to pacify the masses, especially during election campaigns.

In fact, thank goodness you have the DA there in South Africa, because without it, South Africa would be a one party state. Believe me; you don’t want that to happen. I sincerely hope that some sort of multi-racial progressive opposition party will also emerge here in Zimbabwe, after we get rid of ZANU (PF).

Africans are now sick and tired of liberation political parties who can only boast about the past, but have become irrelevant in creating the Africa that most of us middle aged blacks who did not participate in the armed struggle desire.  This is likely to continue because, progressive blacks are not taking the responsibility to be engaged in politics and be the change that they want to see. In addition, white Africans continue to be labeled as racist or neocolonialist, thereby alienating their valuable contribution to Africa’s development.

As far as I am concerned, whites in South Africa, and Zimbabwe for that matter, continue to contribute significantly to developing the economy, more so in South Africa. It is time we rejected racial classification as a measure of political legitimacy. Zimbabwe’s economy collapsed because we ignored the reality that whites were a critical economic factor, especially in agriculture. We certainly need their expertise and competence in management, so does South Africa. This does not imply they should continue to dominate us as they once did in the past, but we must work in partnership with them for the sake of economic development. They are Africans too you know.

African politics has shown us that, when the black man gets into power, he has nothing to offer except the selfish accumulation of material wealth and racist rhetoric against the West and an enemy that does not exist. He continues to divert our attention to race simply because it creates a false sense of victimization and identity with the poor masses.

I think that it is time we see a different breed of African emerging into power. For me, the DA offers that platform for articulate and intelligent black South Africans to outshine some cadres. For goodness sake, focus on what they stand for and not the color of their current leader. We must now see non racist Africans, who are unencumbered by the liberation struggle rhetoric of the past taking leadership positions.  It is now time for Africans who understand that their economies can only develop through harnessing the talents and ideas of all Africans, black and white. People who realize that, although our fathers were discriminated against because of their race, we cannot continue to focus on that past, if we are to move forward and create a better future.

The race card has been abused for just too long and is serving no one at all except politicians who don’t have a better plan for Africa. Let us all reject that. The time has now come for us progressive Africans to come forward take over.

Call me what you want, but Africa will never evolve from being a victim of the past, as long as this neocolonialist rhetoric continues.

Vince Musewe is an economic analyst based in Harare. You may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com

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