Will the ANC really walk the talk
All eyes, politically speaking, will be on the ANC tomorrow - January 8 - when the governing party marks its birthday and its president traditionally outlines its missions and programmes for the year.
Though not a state occasion, it is an important date for the nation at large and has been since those visionaries congregated in Bloemfontein in 1912 to form Africa's oldest liberation movement that would go on to fashion South Africa's - and to some extent - continental history.
Since the days predating the attainment of freedom in 1994, what the ANC has to say and plans to do cannot be ignored as just talk.
Whatever becomes of the declared intentions has an impact on the nation since the party has its hands on the levers of power.
Should the hand at the helm go astray, as evidenced by the nine years under former president Jacob Zuma, the consequences can be dire for the nation.
SA is still trying to undo the damage of the Zuma years, and that will evidently take more than just talk to do so.
So as president of the ANC, and the country, Cyril Ramaphosa will have more than a captive audience when he - as per tradition - reads the January 8 Statement tomorrow.
The ANC will have just concluded a conference to determine those it will be sending to the sixth democratically elected parliament and provincial legislatures after the upcoming general elections.
As reported elsewhere in this newspaper, the party has put its cards face down and won't say who has made the cut.
The ruling party declared that lists need to be ratified and may be changed to cleanse them of the undesirables that may have somehow dodged the proverbial eye of the needle.
But long ahead of the list conference in Durban at the weekend, party branches made nominations that raised eyebrows.
For instance, disgraced former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba's name was among those bandied about, as was Zuma's. Both men were relieved of state power kicking and screaming.
Now, we all have to wait and see who made the cut when the lists finally make it to the Independent Electoral Commission. Then it will become clear whether the talk of renewal is any closer to being the path the ANC elected to walk.
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