…. National policy and elective conferences result in the party trying to reconcile the need for inclusive growth with its vision of a united, nonracial, nonsexist democracy against the background of fiscal inefficiency and ever-growing allegations of state corruption. This complex social environment is fraught with uncertainty, and tension but, paradoxically, it has brought about a renewed level of engagement, awareness and mobilisation. As elsewhere in the world, groups that were previously apathetic are now marching and campaigning for change. New partnerships are being forged.
Where previously the “party line” was sacrosanct, dissenting and independent voices are emerging. There are signs of a realignment in SA’s politics and in society.
Where previously there was a kind of cynical enmity between the government and business, rich and poor, men and women, there is growing acceptance that everyone is in this together. We will roundly criticise each other’s shortcomings and the next day engage in dialogue to build partnerships
There is disagreement, even vitriol. There is a sense that things are coming to a head. But at the root, there is an understanding, albeit reluctantly, that in order to make our society work, we need each other.