By: Comrade Nassoro Kitunda
There is a dialogue among political parties and citizens in South Africa on the issue of a need to change the state’s economic system. The ruling party(ANC) has been saying that the country’s economy must be “transformed” for majority of South African people to benefit. The opposition parties such as the DA, the EFF, and the UDM have also taken this agenda of South African Economic Development(transformation). So every party is talking about “radical economic transformation”, and here is where contradictions arise.
Also,the controversy arises between the ANC and its affiliates like COSATU and SACP. The contradiction on the future of South African economy and as recent as on “Zuma must fall” campaign. Therefore, their debates can help us pose a questions: “what are the radical economy changes”? What is next after this debates? All allegations on corruption and embarrassment that caused some of the members move out of the ANC!!.
Those who question corruption and those who respond to the allegations did not give us the way towards the radical economic change. They talk about personality and not the whole system of production and social/production relations.
It shows that this agenda is widely accepted in South Africans as the main reason why political parties have kept the agenda of the Great Economic Change.
So political parties capitalized on the politics of the welfare of these parties. It is very thoughtful and has touched the lives of people since South African economy is not consistent with the welfare of citizens in the problem of unemployment, lack of dignity by high Gender Based Violence, land tenure system, and ownership of the main economic routes still many people do not own. This problem is like other African countries due to compradorial economy, problems is national but the economy is not national, so the non-national economy can’t solve the national problem.
There is a great impression of citizens to make a change in the economy. The result of xenophobia, labor protests on wages, demonstration of South African Airways staffs claiming their aspirations and voices about demanding a minimum wage, all of which are the sentiments of citizens to make changes to the economy, because it is a sign of the problem in the economy, but this has been taken by politicians who are like sugar or cake at a shopping mall that is a thing that is easily sophisticated. The main question should be to ask ourselves how these feelings and aspirations of political parties will be implemented. Because everyone is experiencing economic and real-life problems in South Africa, but the important thing is how to solve these problems and there is doubt.
The ruling party (ANC) very speaking that they are implementing the strategy of Great Economic Changes, but I still have doubts about the implementation. Because there are economic reforms and economic changes. Reforms are dealing with the superstructure namely law, policy and even constitution, which is not a citizen’s alternative to their needs. This is not a real change. So what we have seen in South Africa is reform and not change. We see issue of reshuffle cabinets, letting the Economy out of globalization and even changing the policy. All this does not make the people swim their economy, because the system of production remains of white monopoly capital or monopoly capital.
We saw in march 2017 the cabinet change was held in various ministries but still complaints of citizens about their Economy has steadily increased.
The goal was to convey Economics to the people but the council failed and now we heard other Cabinet reshuffles in the some ministry, the question is how the cabinet reshuffles are relate to daily life needs of citizens?. I heard the interview of SABC with the General Secretary of South African democratic teachers Union (SADTU) says “We want our 0.5% and not reshuffling. We don’t eat reshuffling of ministers. We eat money. We want better facilities for our TVET collages and we want respect for our children. We want respect for our collages” This words also make us to think how the people’s needs and political situation meet. Because people don’t see any relationship. Thy why we hear their voices.
The question is, is there solution to the major economic changes? Because the society is dominated by relations of production and reproduction, now as this capitalism has not changed even to change the ministers, the situation will not change. An example even if you change the Ministry of Education, Education will continue to be like a biscuit in shopping mall and the rich will buy it and the poor will miss it. The South African often complaint on the Decolonized Education and Fees must fall will not end with policy or law but by changing the capitalism system that made Education an individual matter.
There is something to learn from this agenda of the Radical Economic Transformation especially on our continent. South Africa and its development, the opposition parties must split into this trap of translating the Economy into the common sense of objects, namely market or capital. Which falls mainly on policies and laws. Economic change in which system? And on behalf of whom? So we should seriously in viewing the economy..
There is something about land expropriation is a busy word now as part of Economic Changes, some say without compassion and others with compensation. All of this is important but more important is make sure that land ownership system should not measure as a commodity. Many People now do not have land, but few people they have. Now the major economic revolution must be made to make this great economic way to be owned by the people themselves. The system now completely clear is socialism otherwise it will be only politics of populism.
My concern is people find alternatives to these problems, and we see people struggle on that. But politician misrepresent this people struggles. Socialist path is inevitable, all parties in South Africa must rethink in this way if we need a better society with equality and dignity.