President Cyril Ramaphosa has been commended in the manner in which he has consulted with opposition parties in all decisions taken by the government during this national lockdown period. It is a gesture that shows that this crisis demands everyone to work together in the fight against Coronavirus. In the spirit of solidarity during the lockdown, opposition parties have come to the party with their financial contributions in helping the poor.
The Democratic Alliance announced that it will donate R1.5 million, while all Economic Freedom Fighters’ public representatives will give part of their salaries to the cause. While it was expected that the ruling party will be the one leading the cause in helping the poor during this tough period, the ANC is yet to announce any formal financial contribution. It was only Ramaphosa who announced that his comrades in government will part with a third of their salaries. But, Luthuli House is yet to make a solid commitment to the cause.
Instead, the party has been at the forefront of politicising the awarding of government’s food parcels to the poor families. Many people across the country, especially in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces have been complaining about the manner in which the ANC representatives, who are tasked with providing the food parcels, are using the platform to score cheap political points. It has since been reported that poor people who belong to other political formations are overlooked in the distribution of these food parcels.
What is even more worrying is that we have seen government representatives in the Tshwane and Jo’burg regions wearing ANC regalia when dishing out these hampers. The ANC’s moral compass has indeed hit a new low. It is highjacking a situation that demands everyone to put their political agenda aside and focus on driving the government’s program of fighting this pandemic forward.
One will be easily forgiven to think that the ruling party is using this moment as a campaigning exercise ahead of the much-anticipated local government elections next year. It comes as no surprise that Johannesburg and Tshwane are the most visible places where ANC representatives are masquerading as if they care for the poor. The ANC is in desperate need to retain power in Tshwane and also in Johannesburg. They recently regained control through the help of opposition parties.
Ramaphosa, as the leader of the party, must come out strong against his own comrades for their immoral political opportunism which they are displaying in the middle of a global crisis. The ANC, as it once claimed to be the leader of society, must join other political parties in putting their mouth where it matters most and donate to the solidarity fund.