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South Africa needs a new type of leadership

Cape Town – 31 August 2016

After 22 years of constitutional democracy, have we found our democratic feet? Or are South Africans calling for a renewal in the type of leadership they require?

After the ANC lost control of 3 major metros on the 3rd of August,this question of leadership is even more relevant. For a ruling party that has never received less than 60% of the national vote,it came perilously close to 50%.The symbolic loss of those metros must have shaken the ANC leadership to its core.

A huge misconception has to be addressed in this regard though.The DA and its PR machinery have spouted this as THEIR victory.Nothing could be further from the truth.The DA did not win a majority,it simply took control of these metros as a result of forming coalitions with the EFF and other smaller parties such as the UDM in Nelson Mandela Bay.The DA’s “victory” has been more symbolic rather than real.How long those coalitions last will depend on how much the DA can satisfy their coalition partners.The more they pander to the desires of especially the EFF,the more they risk alienating their core middle class membership.

This brings us to the question of leadership.Who should lead us? By all benchmarks the DA has shown that it is not yet politically mature enough to lead a country with the type of demographics prevalent in South Africa.It does not have the policies nor the required leadership to lead a black majority.While it may have a black face,it does not reflect the demographics of South Africa within its leadership.A quick look at the appointees of Athol Trollip and Patricia De Lille proves this inability to transform within the parameters of provincial and national demographics.

Then we have the ANC,who by all measures still enjoys the support of the majority of South Africans.The party has massive internal issues to resolve.Those issues are not of a permanent nature though.I would venture a guess,that most of the ANC’s lost support in the local government elections was most likely just a “protest” vote against President Jacob Zuma or even the current leadership as a whole,and not necessarily a protest against the policies of the ANC.The fact that 42% of the electorate did not vote tells us that many people would rather not vote, than vote for the DA or any of the smaller parties.

I am quite excited to see what the EFF will do next.They have made an impressive showing in the 3 years since their founding.They became kingmakers after the local government elections.They find themselves in a conundrum,now that they have gone into a coalition with the DA,whose western style liberal policies are quite contrary to the Marxist ideology adopted by the EFF.

What South Africa needs now is leadership that will:

  • Put an end to corruption.
  • Restore moral leadership.
  • Transform the economy even further.
  • Further the objectives of land redistribution.
  • Ensure that the benefit of black economic empowerment trickles down to the masses on an even larger scale.

From where shall such leadership arise?

By Wesley Fester

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