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The National Democratic Revolution as a basis for public policy formulation in South Africa : economic policy and transformation, 1994-2013
Mosala, Josial Seshupo
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The ideology of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) anchors the ANC ideologically and politically, and is the basis of the National Democratic Society which is a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, and prosperous society. The National Democratic Society is antithetical to the historical injustices of apartheid colonialism and neo–liberalism. According to the ANC, it is a disciplined force of the left, which is biased to the working class and the poor. It also states that the Freedom Charter is its lodestar and that the economic vision of the ANC rests on “the Freedom Charter’s clarion call that the people shall share in South Africa’s wealth”. Despite the ANC’s claims, the ANC government has promulgated macro-economic policies that continued the economic liberalisation started by the apartheid government in the 1980s. Furthermore, through its fostering of de-racialisation and democratisation of the colonial economy, the ANC has passed redress legislation that champions superficial transformation with the replacement of white faces with a few politically-connected black faces, whilst preserving the pre-existing structures of social inequality and breeding a new capitalist class – largely to the detriment of the black masses. The macro-economic policies and redress legislation passed by the ANC since 1994 are in contrast to the economic transformation envisaged by the Freedom Charter and the NDR. They have failed to address high inequality, poverty, unemployment, colonial dispossession and underdevelopment – all of which are prevalent in South Africa. This is because the ANC has ensured the maintenance and continuation of the capitalist system in South Africa; also preserving major features of the apartheid economic system. This indicates a gap between the ANC’s economic policy and ANC’s ideology. The government’s economic policies, which are ANC economic policies, are rooted in neo–liberalism and not in the Freedom Charter (as stated by the ANC). The ANC policies have resulted in the co-option of the black elite by the monopoly capital, which the ANC states is the enemy of the NDR, instead of its abolishment. The co-option/entry-ism has resulted in a new alliance between the black elite and the incumbent capitalist elite – both locally and internationally – and this alliance has created a powerful political lobby inside and around the ANC against radical change. This is an indication that the ANC has lost, halted or betrayed the national liberation and that the NDR shows no signs of giving way to socialism.
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