The current mood in the country is sombre and aggressive. Change, or the perception of change, takes the national mood into a downward spiral especially if left unexplained.
Every five years we will change the leadership in the ANC. Some National Executive Committee (NEC) members may return, if the branches of the ANC decide they should. Sadly, other members will not return.
This is continuity and an ANC political tradition. However the mood swing to negative is caused by the intensive campaigns to lead the ANC which is a singular honour but not a right.
Core values of the ANC such as its adherence to a humanist approach, the goal to transform our country into a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic united and prosperous one challenges those who prefer no change at all, especially from a very concentrated ownership pattern to a more inclusive one.
Radical economic transformation is required to ensure more black people drive the growth of our economy. It is not looting as described by SACP leader Blade Nzimande. It is merely challenging us to reprioritise state expenditure and focus on growing sectors such as the SMME sector.
It is not challenging the wealthy but making it possible to expand the base of our economy and the reality is that the rich will get richer. The success of this phase of our transformation is that it requires a generous mood amongst all of us, a mood to work hard and become productive and to do so for the success of our entire diverse nation.
It requires patriotism, not the racist nonsense we hear now. It is not about any individual but about our country.
So if you love South Africa join in to grow the economy. Put down hatred for any one person and see us for who we are – a nascent democracy ready to grow.
Jessie Duarte is Deputy Secretary General of the ANC