In a revealing interview with Professor Terreblanche the South African Society Civil Service uncovers details of how ANC leadership sold out during negotiations to bring down the apartheid regime. Many African freedom fighters found themselves in seriously compromising positions during negotiations for independence because they were often between a rock and a hard place. Twenty years after independence many ordinary South Africans find themselves in the same economic position they were more than 20 years with the only difference being they can freely wave an ANC flag with no retaliation.
While South Africa continues to be a beacon of prosperity on the African continent there are clearly some issues surrounding economic independence in the African nation that need to be addressed. As an example from their neighbors in Zimbabwe, it is clear that economic injustice is better addressed gradually than hastily. If ANC waits until it becomes politically unpopular they will be forced to implement measures that will ruin the very economy they are trying to shield right now.
Revelations from this interview include the fact that in the early 1990s Mandela and Harry Oppenheimer held secret lunches to discuss how ANC philosophy would impact capitalist mining interests and the economy in general. As a result of these meetings the ANC changed its philosophy from one which included growth through redistribution to one that specified redistribution through growth. In a sense they shifted to trickle down economics which is evident now as most black South Africans remain in the same position economically. In addition, in order to secure an $850 million loan from the IMF the transitional government had to agree to implement these trickle down economics or not receive the money. The Transitional Committee comprised of eight National Party members and eight senior members of the ANC.
Professor Terreblanche recommends that the government increase taxes in order to build infrastructure like water, sewage and roads in economically disadvantaged areas. It remains to be seen whether the ruling ANC will heed his advice or turn a blind eye and wait for the ticking economic time bomb to explode.
By Lillian Mhosva 2013
Video Courtesy of South African Civil Society Information Service 2013.