So the operational word has become “NOW” in the political development of South African politics after last week’s national and provincial elections with everybody remarking, “Now is the time; some saying, “the time is now”, others arguing that, “the time has now arrived and others explaining that, “the real work starts now”. All these references were made to the never-ending “to do list” of new responsibilities facing President Cyril Ramaphosa as he takes the country forward after the ANC’s slim 57.5 victory in the most recent elections amid the high expectations of millions of South Africans.
Although the majority of Mzansi residents were encouraged by the ANC victory, some including ANC member of the top six, Ace Magashule were not so impressed. Magashule openly criticised ANC election driver, Fikile Mbalula, who praised Ramaphosa for the ANC victory. Ramaphosa had long before the ANC election campaigning assured South Africans that he would embark on several corrective measures both in government and in the ANC to ensure after the polls that a more responsible ANC, free of corruption and accusations of many wrong deeds would lead the country into a brighter future. But from where we stand, the ANC president surely has a lot of work to do if he hopes to get the country right by fixing the ANC itself from the inside – getting rid of internal strive among its leadership and membership alike. He must gain the courage to get rid of what has become popular as the “rot” within the ANC.
As part of the long list, the president has the responsibility to put in place a locally and internationally acceptable SA whose economy will help the country grow into the best destination for foreign investment and export.
Fixing the ANC and South Africa would help to move the country towards policy stability and economic growth “which the markets and rating agencies have been waiting for”.
President Ramaphosa told his supporters in Johannesburg over the weekend that the real work starts now following the ANC’s election victory and that the ANC had been given another chance and a clear mandate adding that the liberation movement would do what it had promised in the campaign. As though that was not enough, the national unemployment figures released this week just added to Ramaphosa’s list worries to raise the country’s economy when Stats SA released the figures showing a 27, 6 percent rise during the first quarter of 2019 which was the highest in nearly 15 years.
And now, calls for him to appoint a smaller cabinet dominated by reputable people who are free of allegations of wrong doing, state capture and corruption are on the increase. These must be capable people who are determined to take the country forward at all costs. This call was reiterated by former public protector, Thuli Madonsela when addressing guests in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Added to these demands, Ramaphosa is now facing demands from an even longer list from many South Africans some of whom have deliberately decided not to give him time and space to do his job without interference. Several of the demands are unreasonable from those who are already criticising his programme of action. Although he is still the president of both the Republic and the ruling party and the buck stops with him especially with the ANC leadership watching his every move very closely as he decides who to add to the list of those who will net return to the National Assembly, Ramaphosa will be called upon to dig very deep into his natural resources of good reasoning. So South Africa, give the man some space and time to meet your demands. After all, he has promised to do just as both you and opposition structures have demanded. If you doubt his commitment, South Africans need only to visit the NPA and Luthuli House.