The sudden upsurge of “black nationalism” in our public discourse is a cause for concern, particularly from those who are meant to espouse the founding values of non-racialism of the African National Congress.
Who is this directed at and why?
Disinformation is the premise on which societal transformation is the selected technique aimed at maligning the person of the president of both the country and the governing party.
The evident intended objective is to isolate Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa from decisions of the leadership core.
Societal transformation meant to redress previous ills is now abused to advance reprehensible tactics that are planned to contaminate public discourse.
Politically motivated negative messaging is utilised explicitly to evoke public cynicism, uncertainty, apathy, distrust, and paranoia, all of which demoralise citizen engagement and mobilization for change.
Misinformation is intentionally used to share false information on every platform available.
To this end, these anarchists use their numerous demagogues and stooges as fronts for the handlers who disseminate this propaganda using every platform available.
This comes as no surprise as it is a well-documented fact that this leadership is effectively altering the trajectory of the country from a dismal nine years of corruption which almost brought the economy to its knees while also restoring the credibility of the congress movement.
Some of the acolytes are reimagining the constitution of the ANC by distinguishing between comrades and “amaqabane” and asking the later to be vigilant on social media, with unclear divergence in definitions when interrogated to provide clarity.
Robert A Heinlein holds that you can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic. This is the strategy that is at play here.
Last week, the commissioner of the South African Revenue Service appointed Mark Kingon, who happens to be a white South African, to an acting role as his second in command following the resignation under a dark cloud of Jonas Makwakwa.
A few days later, Tom Moyane was himself suspended pending an inquiry into governance issues at Sars.
The president designated the same long serving member of the executive as the acting commissioner.
The racist cacophony that ensued would be a joke if it were not bewildering.
Questions arose on the race of the appointee relegating his skills, 34 year institutional memory as well as the fact that Moyane had showed confidence in him.
That was all deliberately obliterated as it would fail to serve the racially divisive agenda of some among us.
Transformation was abused to advocate for reversal of democratic gains and to drive the Black Nationalism agenda which, when explored deeper, seeks to achieve the antithesis of apartheid, with the suppression of white people.
These pseudoradicals have gone to the extent of isolating the president from the core leadership decisions with their malevolent invective, labelling him a puppet of the white monopoly capital who is at the helm to drive the white people’s interests.
The notion of transformation in society has always had as its intended purpose, representative demographics; it is therefore a fallacy that racial exclusion of other races will have their desired effect.
If only that was the true reason for these anarchists appropriating to themselves the defenders of our people.
Evidently, these hangers-on were the beneficiaries of ill-gotten gains which, since operation clean up commenced, are starting to feel the pain with resources drying up and therefore the need to recolonise minds of people with such drivel to the extent that their own stomach linings are relubricated at the expense of our people’s immediate needs.
This week an opinion piece purporting to be co-authored by Smuts Ngonyama and Andile Ngcaba was circulated on social media.
It implied that the President was about to capture Eskom through one of his companies, Shanduka benefiting from renewable energy purchase agreement that Eskom was about to sign prior to being interdicted.
It is important to note that they have both distanced themselves from this fraudulent fake news article and further alluded to it being both destructive and disingenuous especially in the wake of the country exhibiting reassuring strides towards positive change.
This narrative not only seeks to impugn the president but also the current minister of energy, Jeff Radebe as well as the newly appointed Eskom leadership on whom South Africans have pinned their hopes of a turnaround in fortunes for our country.
This falsehood needs to be dispelled as we unpack existential facts to reveal the concerted disinformation strategy. The 1998 white paper on energy committed the government to implement various electricity market reforms that encouraged competition as well as permitted open and non-discriminatory access to transmission systems.
Subsequently, the 2006 Electricity Regulation Act formalised these undertakings and provided the legal framework for private sector participation in electricity generation.
You will recall that in 2007/8 we experienced extreme supply constraints and to circumvent crashing of the national grid, load-shedding schedules were effected.
This resulted in a quick and cost-effective implementation strategy which guaranteed that households and businesses continued to enjoy uninterrupted access.
Several initiatives were sanctioned the compilation of the Integrated Resource Plan in 2010, encouraging private sector investment into the electricity generation supply through a competitive tender process that manifested in the independent power producers procurement programme.
In 2011, the government ratified the United Nations Climate Change Convention where all stakeholders in the sector affirmed commitments aimed at reducing the country’s carbon emissions footprint as well as to increase diversity of the green energy mix.
In August 2011, the former minister of energy, Dipuo Peters, together with the energy regulator initiated the first procurement bid cycle of the renewable independent power producers procurement programme under the Zuma administration.
This procedure was underpinned by international infrastructure principles to ensure independence, transparency as well as integrity.
This is a strictly confidential process with no room for influence. Bid cycles one, two and three were completed between 2011 and 2013 and 62 of these are operational, contributing 3773 Megawatts to the grid, equivalent to 66% of the Medupi power station.
It is important to note that under this programme, the government incorporated the country’s development economic policy to ensure that on average 48% of equity is owned by black South Africans, 11% by black local communities with only 25% owned by foreign investors, acting as catalysts to imparting skills transfer and creation of transformation opportunities. There are currently 28 successful bidders as announced by former minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, in 2014-2015 – whose contracts have yet to be signed.
It is therefore disingenuous to attribute any of these independent power producers to the current administration, particularly, the president, who seems to be at the receiving end of the vitriol of some among the ANC members under the guise of transformation.
South Africans must rise up and support the initiatives of the president.
No one should ever be allowed to contaminate public opinion without us responding lest these pseudoradicals achieve the objective of turning the masses against the government while enlarging the gap between races using inbred prejudices of our people for their own ends.
We need to arm ourselves with knowledge so that we mitigate being led astray.
• Lerato Monethi is an ANC member, writing in her personal capacity