Greed the big danger

COSATU'S Zwelinzima Vavi has hit the nail in the head. The greatest threat to the ANC, and by extension to our fledgling state, is the growing culture of crass materialism and conspicuous consumption.

COSATU'S Zwelinzima Vavi has hit the nail in the head. The greatest threat to the ANC, and by extension to our fledgling state, is the growing culture of crass materialism and conspicuous consumption.

While we would not like to begrudge those who have money their right to use it as they wish, we are with Vavi in the belief that this new love of things grandiose contaminates the body politic.

Many of the nouveau riche have grown fat as a direct result of political patronage. In many instances they have contributed nothing other than their political connectedness to accumulate their wealth.

This has created the impression that the state's coffers are fair game for their predatory instincts.

A state seen to have merely changed the colour of the political elites who benefit materially from their closeness to power is as unsustainable as the one it replaces.

The ANC occupies an important institutional space in South African society. What becomes normal in the ANC becomes normal in society. It is thus important for the party to remain self-critical and rid itself of tendencies that have the potential of destroying it.

The ANC must consider itself fortunate to have the likes of Vavi who are willing to speak the truth and say what needs to be said. Unlike with opposition parties, they could never dare to doubt Vavi's credentials.

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