In response to recent criticism, the African National Congress (ANC) spokesperson, Fassiah Hassan, defended the party’s record on improving the lives of ordinary South Africans. These remarks came after a statement by Rekgotsofetse Chikane, the Deputy Chairperson of the Defend Our Democracy Movement and a prominent Fees Must Fall activist.
Chikane’s critique was delivered during the annual Ahmed Kathrada Memorial Lecture in Johannesburg last Saturday. He raised concerns about Parliament’s inability to hold the executive accountable and highlighted what he described as a “30-year decline in democracy.”
While Hassan openly acknowledged some of the ANC’s shortcomings, she argued that the government had made significant progress in advancing economic inclusion. She pointed out that the public sector had faced limitations in creating sufficient job opportunities, emphasizing that the responsibility of job creation lies predominantly with the private sector.
Hassan further stressed the ANC’s focus on economic matters, particularly the private sector’s role in job creation, as indicated in the party’s 2019 manifesto. This emphasis on the economy is expected to feature prominently in the upcoming elections.
Unemployment remains a pressing issue in South Africa, and the debate over the government’s role in job creation continues to be a central theme in the national discourse.