Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

ANC policies of unity
The ANC has been sounding policy documents ahead of their June council meeting regarding the challenges in unifying the party. The ANC has shifted its political focus over the past few years to build a widely centrist political position and thus continue to entrench their ubiquitous political support. Yet this swallowing of diverse viewpoints, as with the conglomeration of the old NNP, COSATU and SACP, brings a difficulty in managing those diverse, and loud, voices that do not tow the party line. The ANC thus has the distinct challenge of creating unity amongst these voices to create a coherent party message. When your party leadership that is so acutely abrasive to criticism, this task becomes even more difficult, and it is no wonder the ANC is throwing these documents out to the wider audience to find solutions.

Out of these discussions, the ANC has also been pondering the national identity of the new South Africa. Once again, the party intelligensia have been considering the position of whites. Mbeki has consistently held the view that Afrikaner whites are 'more African' than English whites, and has been very quick to laud steps taken by Afrikaner groups, whilst being very quick to disparage English-speaking whites. It's a view that has been upheld across the ANC and is clear throughout these policy discussions ahead of the conference. It's interesting what the ANC hopes to gain by placing such thoughts into the public domain, given that South African business is largely dominated by English-speaking whites.


Read Moneyweb's take on the discussion documents here.