South Africa President Jacob Zuma has sent food for thought to the South Africa business community by directly inviting it to invest in the ruling party in a meeting in Durban, just days before the commemoration of the one hundred and one years of the existence of the African National Congress (ANC).
He said that should they support ANC, their ‘fortunes would flourish.
On January 15 2013, Keith Khouza, the spokesperson for the party, clarified the remarks in a statement to the Mail & Guardian.
“What the president said is that business must invest in the ANC if they want to see the country prosper…” He said.
A short Run of the annals of ANC
To many, the history of ANC itself is sufficient enough to determine the fortunes of any enterprise that affiliates with it if not the country as a whole.
Way back in the 1960s, when the country stood polarized and most of the international community lay embargo on the white majority political dichotomy, Apartheid South Africa banned the ANC because it was becoming a force to reckon with in national matters yet it continued to thrive in exile.
The power of the party, and the reason why it might be a common denominator for the business world in SA, lies in the executive committee.
The earliest days of the party saw a very representative political outfit, with the constitution apportioning it a president with a foursome of deputies, each coming from a major province. There was also a secretary-general with a deputy, as well as treasurer-general.
As if this was not enough to make the party as representative of national interest as possible, the president had even greater powers to selectively fill the executive with other appointees, a prerogative that many succeeding leaders of the party, who would become future presidents utilized with a rule of the thumb indeed.
Nelson Mandela, upon gaining the helm in 1994 gained many powers, some informal, that would come to be beneficial to his successors who now enjoy privileged positions in policy matters affecting all aspects of life in South Africa, from politics to business matters.
It is therefore not a very wild move for a president to declare before a corporate gathering for direct support of the party where contributors would get back their reward for the show of purpose for the country’s business interests.
Inevitably, there have been many opposing views to Monday’s declaration, each eliciting matter- of-fact affirmations by the president including the classic one that simply investing in the party would see one’s enterprise perform quite impressively. That is a qualified statement from the ANC spokesman.
In retaliation to the Democratic Alliance (DA) show of concern and demands for clarification of there being no holy cows in the remarks, the ANC said that it remained the one political outfit in the country that has committed to business comradeship.
As one would expect, these are barbed statements from the party that knows where politics and business need to draw a separation.
However, ANC says that whoever supports it would be helping in the purposive progress of the nation’s economy.