A new political force has been unleashed, with the launch at the weekend of a new political party, Agang, under the leadership of Mamphela Ramphele.Are we convinced this is a new and worthwhile addition to the political landscape, or might it just be another damp squib like Cope? Many politicians have been giving their views, but what of the wider business and economic community? ZA Confidential canvassed the views of a few of our Experts.
Author and speaker David Bullard:
The name is unfortunate – with an election we could have a-hung parliament! It is an un-catchy name, but means something to a lot of people. What Ramphele is saying appeals to the small percentage of South Africans who understand what has gone wrong under the ANC. Whether it also appeals to a large section of the traditional previously disadvantaged will be seen. The reality is that here is a 65 year old woman with enormous energy – but who else are we voting for? Is there a team in waiting?
Dawie Roodt of the Efficient Group:
Agang is a exciting development on the South African political front, especially since a reputable leader like Dr Ramphele is in charge. Real damage could be caused to the ANC’s support base.
Coenraad Bezuidenhout of the Manufacturing Circle:
As an industry lobby group, the Manufacturing Circle is apolitical, supporting policy positions that are pro-manufacturing growth, rather than specific political parties. There are vast opportunities for the relationship between business and policy makers to be enhanced, as well as for our economic, trade and industrial policies and the execution of those policies to be improved. As much as new players are welcomed, their addition will be inconsequential to us, as long as these opportunities are not seized.
Neren Rau of Sacci:
The launch of Agang is Illustrative of the strength of the South African Democracy in that new political parties are able to launch and position themselves.
ZA Confidential believes that there is always room for a new voice in the political arena, and will watch with interest to see whether Agang can attract more high profile leaders, and a worthwhile support base.
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