Former Nigerian president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has declared that South Africa will not make democratic progress until the country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) is robustly challenged by opposition parties in a way that forces it to correct the errors of its ways.
The former president observed that the ruling party in South Africa risks becoming irrelevant if it does not get to grip with the management of the country’s economy.
Obasanjo made the declaration in South Africa, where he launched, Making Africa Work – A Handbook for Economic Success, a book he co-authored with Greg Mills, the director of the Brenthurst Foundation. His comments are coming at a time the ANC is facing criticism from opposition parties, religious bodies and its own alliance partners over President Jacob Zuma’s leadership.
In an interview, Obasanjo said it was possible for liberation movements to “convert themselves”, but where they failed to do so, they risked becoming irrelevant.
“Here I don’t really know what’s going on because the ANC is the majority party. You will not get it right until the ANC can be given a good fight for their money,” he said.
A critical problem hampering SA’s economic growth was governance and not management of the economy itself.
“Because of the governance problems that you have, it flows into the management of the economy, the confidence in the economy,” Obasanjo said.
South Africa and Nigeria have to get their houses in order, politically and economically, or they would not be effective. Inadequate leadership in general was a problem, with leaders failing to take responsibility for their actions, he said