Radebe's obfuscation cannot drown out sound of failure

Jeff Radebe. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

Jeff Radebe. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

Apart from the poor English, there were several glaring examples of desperation and spin in Mangaung turns on economics (December 7) by Jeff Radebe, the justice minister.

"The key preoccupation of the ANC is how to accelerate the fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment," he says. He might have fooled many with such rhetoric if the ANC's front men had not ensured that the wealth had gone to them.

He asks: "How do the policies we adopt ensure … fast-track interventions?" It has been nearly 19 years and he is still asking. The elected leaders have not applied their minds to any policy focused on the nub of the problem. There is no sign of ANC policies that benefit the majority of the population.

The old line about "redistributing land" is pulled out, as is undue praise for the Black Economic Empower­ment (BEE) Act and "codes of good practice". The mention of Lenasia, where houses have been demolished, is classic smoke and mirrors: unless our justice minister knows better, those victims are there because of ANC cadre employment. The codes of good practice now in place have led to several BEE companies going out of business because Radebe's government has not fulfilled its obligations.

"If we take lessons from liberation movements on the continent" we get the disaster of Zimbabwe and the ensconcing of a dictator who will not leave until the country has slipped back into the Dark Ages.

The final example is we "will also look at how the national development plan will be implemented". The whole point of having a plan is that it indicates how it will be implemented. Why did the taxpayer pay for a national planning commission if the president mistrusts "clever blacks"? Was it to keep the clever blacks occupied so they would not see the wholesale robbery of public funds?

One thing Radebe got right about Mangaung is that "this is a water-shed for the movement". If the conference rubber-stamps the present presidency, it will be a waterfall moment – with South Africans drowning in a very deep and murky pool. – New Citizen

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