19/02/2017 11:15 SAST | Updated 19/02/2017 11:26 SAST

Vavi: It's The ANC's Fault That Scandals Like Eskom And The Banks' Collusion Can Flourish

"Many of us have learnt to expect that almost every government initiative will be tainted in some way by corruption, mismanagement and a disregard for the real needs."

REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Zwelinzima Vavi, right, the former general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), and President Jacob Zuma, in 2007; Zuma is now the president whom Vavi wishes he had never supported due to the corruption his government has allowed to flourish.

The African National Congress (ANC) government has allowed corruption to flourish, allowing scandals such as the banking debacle and the Eskom energy crisis dealings to flourish — two scandals that are shocking even by South African standards, said Zwelinzima Vavi.

Vavi, writing in the Sunday Times, said the party had "unswervingly promoted" the "neoliberal policies" that had "turned villains into millionaires", impoverished people, disrupted service delivery and turned education into a privilege.

"It is the ANC government that has created the environment for double-dealing, for institutionalised theft, for undermining oversight, for disempowering our people, and for allowing unfettered looting," said Vavi, a unionist and anti-corruption campaigner.

He called for united action to insist on accountability and to campaign for policies that meet the needs of the country.

"At every level of our society, be it at local ward or community level, or at provincial and national level, scandals continue to unfold, and have now become so commonplace that many of us have learnt to expect that almost every government initiative will be tainted in some way by corruption, mismanagement and a disregard for the real needs of our people," said Vavi.

He referred to the two biggest of the recent scandals: the Competition Commission's referral to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution of the matter of 17 banks found to have colluded to manipulate currency prices, which Vavi called "little more than the grubby workings of a dingy global casino"; and the Denton's report on Eskom which revealed manipulations by Eskom management of the load-shedding crisis.

Vavi reiterated his apology for his previous support for President Jacob Zuma, which had helped his election first as party president then country president. "I plead guilty as charged that I, with millions of others, played a role to save this man from an imminent prison term and propelled him to the highest office in the land in the naive belief that he would turn the fortunes of the working class."