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Contradictions reflect ideological splits within the ANC

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Contradictions reflect ideological splits within the ANC

27th March 2017


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The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) analysts have today released an assessment of nine new policy documents that were published by the African National Congress (ANC) ahead of its National Policy Conference that starts on 30 June.

The IRR assessment sought to identify the broad thrusts of current ANC policy thinking against a context of weak economic performance and rising political instability. The report was prepared in the main for investors who wanted a broad sense of current ANC thinking.


IRR CEO, Dr Frans Cronje, wrote in the report that the IRR, “[found] the most recent set of nine documents interesting, in the sense that some of the more rabid Marxist dogma has been very clearly toned down, while flashes of economic common sense shine through here and there”.

The report raised the intriguing possibility of informal ANC think tanks that were further down the reformist road than the government was.


However, the IRR found that the nine ANC documents were riddled with internal contradictions that reflected the deep ideological splits within the party.

Cronje wrote that, “Our sense is that the moment of reformation is therefore not yet upon us. The flashes of common sense are heartening, but these are fatally compromised by the contradictions that continue to run through ANC policy thinking”.

The IRR said that the contents of the ANC documents suggested that the ANC was far from uniting behind a workable strategy to secure an economic turnaround.

According to the IRR, if the ANC did not find a way to resolve those internal contradictions its political future would be ever more in doubt.

Report by the Institute of Race Relations

  • Contradictions reflect ideological splits within the ANC
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