23 June 2014

South Africa: ANC - Time for Generational Change?


It may not have been deliberately planned but over the past few weeks since the May elections, there is a rush of young blood in national politics. The country was primed for the onset of militancy in the opposition benches once Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters made a significant showing in the elections. But since then, Mmusi Maimane has taken over the Democratic Alliance in Parliament, and some young leaders have been pushed forward in the Cabinet. The new voice of the ANC is Zizi Kodwa, a former ANC Youth League firebrand. But by and large, the reins are still in the hands of an ageing generation, in the ANC and the alliance. Has the time come to start handing these over?

One of the reasons that succession is such a fraught issue in the ANC is because it is taboo to discuss it publicly. The ANC prefers succession to happen naturally, from branch level upwards, and that leadership issues are not debated or planned. Well, that's the idea in theory. The reality is that this gives rise to behind-the-scenes jockeying and plotting to conceal political ambitions and to manipulate ANC structures.

The damaging battle...

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