This is my last Bokamoso for 2016. Thank you for your support this year. I wish you all a safe and happy festive season. Now is the time to be with our families, rest and relax so that we can return refreshed to tackle the challenges that lie ahead in 2017.
This has been an extremely tough year. South Africans have suffered more under Zuma’s ANC government than ever before. We’ve seen record unemployment with joblessness passing the nine million mark for the first time in SA’s history. Our economy has stagnated while food and electricity prices have soared. Our university campuses have become battlegrounds.
The ANC in government have been an embarrassment to South Africa. They closed ranks around the president when he was revealed to have violated the Constitution and to have sold our sovereignty to the Guptas. They made extraordinarily damaging policy choices: to press ahead with nuclear; to withdraw from the International Criminal Court; to pass the buck on university funding. Corruption has skyrocketed along with the rand, which reached R16 to the dollar for the first time ever.
Add to this the drought, which has ravaged our farmlands and brought many towns to a standstill, while beyond South Africa the western liberal democratic order is faltering. Undeniably, the year 2016 has been a low point.
But sometimes the lowest point gives the firmest foundation from which to kick off. The year 2016 has seen a critical tipping point in South Africa’s politics. In the August local government elections, multi-party democracy took a big step forward. Millions of citizens used their vote to hold government to account, rather than as an indication of group identity. Outraged by the President’s dishonourable and damaging behaviour, and by the ANC’s complicity therein, South Africans from all walks of life stood up together and said: “We don’t have to accept this”.