When ANCYL leader Julius Malema started spouting about “the revolution” some two years ago, most intellectual people just shrugged it off as rhetoric, aimed at the uneducated masses in a way to rally more groundswell support for a less than popular individual, whose mindset was pre-1994.
During Malema’s hate speech hearings he used the phrase “National Democratic Revolution” on numerous occasions, which prompted me to take a little more interest in what he was saying and note of the references made within that context.
My initial reaction to his comments about the ongoing “struggle” and “revolution” was: “What struggle?” and “Why does he need a revolution when we have an ANC-controlled constitutional democracy?”
This is where good old Google comes in handy and a search for the National Democratic Revolution (NRD) led me the ANC website and their Strategy and Tactics (S&T) documents – which were in place long before 1994 and have subsequently been revised a number of times. Boldly stated in the S&T document is the aim of fulfillment of the NRD.
The NRD is not a Malema plan: it is an ANC policy document – probably swept under the carpet by the likes of Mandela and Mbeki – and now with the strengthening of the Communists within the hierarchy of the ruling party, it has found its way back into the mainstream of ANC policy and is being capitalised on by Malema in his quest for power.
The main aim of the NRD is a non-racial democracy – which sounds great on paper – but on closer examination this means that all aspects of control, ownership, management and employment in the public and private sectors should broadly mirror the demographic composition of South Africa’s population – which will take affirmative action and employment equity to a new level.
You have to understand that the term non-racial in this context means “black supremacy” or “African hegemony”, which is supported by both Cosatu and the SACP. Proposed changes to labour legislation will do away with labour brokers and contract workers to make all positions permanent and therefore even more difficult to manage as the workers will now be protected from dismissal regardless of competence or performance.
The “deployment of cadres” policy in key positions in both state and parastatal organisations has to a large degree resulted in the demise of the SABC, the healthcare system, education, the police force and municipalities, most of which are bankrupt and lacking in the necessary skills to run them effectively, and they have been the victims of endemic corruption and misappropriation of funds, while thousands of positions remain unfilled even though there are whites, coloureds and Indians with the requisite skills available to fill them.
If that has been the result without the implementation of the NRD over the past 17 years, what does the future hold?
Well, we have Gugile Nkwinti’s land reform proposals under the Land Tenure Security Bill to start with, which will give unlimited rights for farm workers to build communities, graze livestock and grow their own crops on the farms where they work, thereby threatening the integrity of the farmer’s crops and livestock with the threat of disease and crop infestation through lack of both crop spraying and prophylactic medications. We have lost 80 000 farmers: can we afford to lose any more?
Consider the stated threat by Malema and recent calls for the people to take back the land from the white “criminals” who stole their land – without restitution - despite the fact that the constitution protects the right of ownership of land.
The calls for the nationalisation of mines and more recently financial institutions – all of which is part of the Freedom Charter – see the stronger influence of the communist ideologies of the 1950s coming to the fore. Even the fact that the Soviet Union has collapsed and that China is welcoming capitalism is no deterrent to those in the ANC ranks who still see Marxism by any other name as their salvation.
The suggestion of doing away with the nine provinces and centralising control at government level removes the threat posed by opposition parties to take control of sectors of the country and show up the ruling party, thereby effectively negating any opposition to central government and guaranteeing continued rule.
The Protection of Information Bill, or “Secrecy Bill” as I prefer to call it, is another step towards the abolition of a free press and it would thereby protect corrupt officials and other criminals from being exposed. You would be subject to the “mushroom syndrome”, and journalists who dared to uncover corruption and other sacred cow information - like the arms deal or how much taxpayers’ money was spent on a trip to New York or fancy car hire - would find themselves behind bars with hardened criminals.
You might say: “All of these things are unconstitutional; our constitution will protect us!” But remember a constitution only works if you have a democracy; once you have a dictatorship, that constitution will become null and void and will be replaced by something more suitable to the objectives of the NRD.
The tail is wagging the dog - The unions have placed the president on terms instead of the other way around – the cracks in the tripartite alliance are widening.
I firmly believe that South Africa is at a crossroads in our evolution as a democracy.
If we take the high road and stick to our current macro-economic policies, ease the LRA, let the Land Claims Court do its job, allow a willing seller willing buyer mentality in the redistribution of farmland, weaken the grip that unions have on the economy, encourage foreign investment and let the Communists fade into the background, our future could be very bright – as the 2010 World Cup proved, we have got it!
However, if we take the low road and allow the Stalinist “egalitarian society” envisaged by the NDR to become a reality, we will lose all of our existing skills resources, foreign investment will disappear, education will be dumbed down even further, the new wealthy middle class will lose their wealth and by then it will be too late to change the course of history.
Is this the future you want for this proud nation?