Tough challenges for Zuma

2010-01-08 22:30
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's ability to administer tough measures needed to revive a struggling economy could be hampered by his efforts to pacify communists and labour in the ANC's fractious alliance.

As Zuma's ruling African National Congress celebrates its 98th anniversary on Saturday, its alliance with communist and labour union allies is suffering from growing infighting, mainly over policy, which threatens to change the make-up of the alliance that helped end apartheid.

The communists and unions, who helped bring Zuma into power last May, want economic policies to shift to the left and Africa's biggest economy to abandon the pro-business stance that has endeared it to investors.

Investors will be focused even closer on South Africa this year as the country hosts the 2010 Soccer World Cup - the first time the tournament will be hosted in Africa.

South Africa exited its first recession in 17 years in the third quarter of 2009 but the pace of the recovery is slower than other countries. Business confidence fell in December and household and corporate finances remain tight.

Zuma's government has repeatedly said existing policies will remain in place, but has sought to appease the ANC's allies by encouraging debate over points of contention.

No more 'Mr nice guy'

Analysts said it was now time Zuma provided strong leadership.

"Zuma is trying to be 'Mr Nice Guy' and rule by a process of consensus. It's a form of governance by endless compromise but lacks vision," said veteran political analyst Allister Sparks.

"My concern is that ... in trying to keep them together that negates what is needed; and that is strong leadership."

The SA Communist Party and unions under the umbrella of giant labour federation Cosatu also want the mandate of the central bank to be broadened to include job creation and inflation targeting scrapped.

Zuma is under pressure to deliver on election promises made last year, including drastically reducing unemployment which stands at about 25% after last year's recession slashed nearly one million jobs.

Due to the economic downturn, Zuma was unable to meet his pledge of creating 500 000 new jobs last year.

Cosatu said the global financial crisis had deepened unemployment, increased poverty and devastated the manufacturing sector.

Challenges

Joblessness, HIV/Aids, poverty and lack of basic services were among the challenges the ANC needed to address, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said in a statement.

"When we talk about defence of the working class gains we mean ensuring that the ANC continues to focus on the concerns of the majority of our people. This should be our preoccupation and not some imaginary enemies amongst us," Vavi said.

The ANC government also faces pressure to improve basic services. Riots erupted in several poor informal settlements across the country last year as residents protested over the lack of running water and electricity.

Addressing poor education and public healthcare, as well as high levels of crime, are other issues Zuma must grapple with to convince his supporters their plight has not been forgotten.

But in trying to appease everyone, Zuma risks spreading himself too thin and could end up alienating both ordinary South Africans and foreign investors already worried about possible policy shifts.

"Zuma is all things to all people [and] that is something that confuses investors," said Razia Khan, head of research for Africa at Standard Chartered Bank. "They are never quite sure where he sits on different issues."
Read more on:    sacp  |  cosatu  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  politics
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

The route of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic has been announced and it promises to be as challenging as ever!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

4 exercise excuses and how to beat them
Watch: Insane road bike skills!
The most extreme journey ever?
Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong desire to be self sufficient, right and in control today. There is a tendency to hold on too tightly to your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.