South Africans have become desensitised to scandals of leaders in the government’s top ranks, Wits University vice-chancellor and political analyst Adam Habib said on Saturday.
“The most damaging of these is of course those associated with Zuma and his family, which has occurred so often in the last few years that it is no longer shocking as South Africans, become resigned to the first citizen’s predisposition to immerse himself in scandal after scandal.” said Habib in a speech prepared for delivery at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation annual lecture held in Lenasia, Johannesburg.
Habib outlined the current political landscape of the country and questioned the legitimacy of the ruling African National Congress ahead of the 2014 general elections.
“The legitimacy crisis of the [ANC] has provoked widespread factionalism within the party and within the tripartite alliance. This factionalism was concentrated within the ANC in the build-up to Mangaung.”
Sapa reports Habib said Congress of SA Trade Unions’ (Cosatu) suspended general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi was an example of what happened to people who were vocal against Zuma.
“The focus of this factionalism has revolved around attempts to expel Zwelinzima Vavi from the union federation because of his criticisms of, and independence from, the Zuma administration.”
He urged more co-operation between government, the private sector and the labour force for economic transformation. He also called for creation of opportunities for new entrants into the labour market.
“[New entrants need to] accumulate the necessary work experience to make them valuable and productive employees. These challenges should be of as much concern to labour as they are to employers and the state.”