‘Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party”… that famous line was conceived, not as a political statement, but as an exercise for learner typists.
Yet, as South Africa stands on the precipice of collapse into a failed state, it is one which is apt for the ANC.
The cynics might say, not without justification, that there is probably a dire shortage of good men (or women) within the ranks of the governing party, given that many of its leaders have shamelessly looted government coffers for years.
However, given the gravity of our national crisis, perhaps it is time for the ANC hierarchy – and, in particular, President Cyril Ramaphosa – to start to act in the interests of South Africa and not their party.
Ramaphosa, transported to victory as ANC president for two successive terms on the promise of cleaning up the country, needs to start wondering whether his legacy might one day be that of the biggest disappointment in South African politics.
He needs to start seriously considering meting out what family counsellors call “tough love” to his comrades in his Cabinet.
The ANC Cabinet has more passengers than Prasa – although, to be fair, that’s not too difficult given the collapse of our consumer rail company.
Ramaphosa must purge the Cabinet of these layabouts and incompetents and replace them with people who have skills and commitment.
Alas, those sort of qualities are in short supply in those jockeying for position in the ANC – that is obvious to everyone.
Surely the time has come to bring in outsiders – technocrats who can rebuild the crumbling state edifice?
That might prove difficult because the looters will fight and current rules preclude non-MPs from getting Cabinet assignments.
But it can be done. And, Mr President, it must be done.