For Mboweni's growth plan to succeed the ANC has to give up certain dogmatic positions that were formulated when 7% growth was the status quo, writes Adriaan Basson.
Sprinkles early. Morning clouds. Mild.
For the foreseeable future, South Africa needs the experience, level-headedness and economic acumen of Cyril Ramaphosa.
Multimedia · User Galleries · News in Pictures
Send us your pictures · Send us your stories
Ultimately, support for President Ramaphosa requires a giant leap of faith. The ANC is unlikely to come clean on any of these issues simply because they can't – certainly not in the very short term, writes Daniel Silke.
To support Cyril or not, that is the
question. Or so it seems for many analysts, editors and commentators who are
weighing up a possible endorsement of the ANC in the forthcoming election.
Of course, whether analysts should really
throw their weight so transparently behind a political party (or head-of-state)
at election time is the stuff of debate – but clearly, keeping truly objective
for all of us "talking heads" and scribes is increasingly difficult –
whether in this country, or in Trumps's America or Brexit Britain, for that
The argument for supporting Cyril is now
well-worn. Unless he gets a strong mandate, he will be unable to institute the
reforms that these commentators seem assured he will undertake. Therefore, let's
give him support and let him revive the fortunes of the country.
READ: SA, Zuma and our missed opportunities
It's a pretty convincing argument. The president
is attractive in both demeanour and dialogue. He invokes a neo-Mandela aura
that seemingly seeks rapprochement
and realism over radicalism. He speaks out against corruption, is more likely
to consult the business community and has avoided (thus far) being implicated
in corruption. What's there not to like?
But a fair analysis of Cyril Ramaphosa
really should be an analysis of the ANC and its policy proposals. After all,
Ramaphosa remains a sum of the parts of the ANC – and those parts remain in
Firstly, there is insufficient evidence to
suggest that the Jacob Zuma coat-tails are mortally wounded within the ANC as a
party and within the NEC itself. Yes, there has been oblique criticism of the
Zuma years from Ramaphosa, but the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal continue to revere the
former president and there is precious little that Ramaphosa can do about this.
Indeed, a decade of Zuma's rule also has
resulted in a decade of Zuma appointments as part of the broader
cadre-deployment policy of the ANC. Attempts to flush out the "bad eggs"
here are a long-term project fraught with internal difficulties in each and every
And, the fine balancing act that Ramaphosa
has to walk looks set to remain even post-election. Whilst a good mandate will
undeniably strengthen his hand, the ANC remains a broad church including those
who sanction patronage and crony-capitalism. The jury sure is still out on
whether Ramaphosa will successfully be able to relegate this grouping to lesser
positions or reduce their influence not only in Cabinet, but in the benches of Parliament,
state legislatures, council chambers – and more importantly, key
decision-making bodies like the NEC itself.
South Africa may never be a country in
which its citizens can relax about its elected officials, but what would help
is a line-of-succession within the ANC that instils confidence rather than deep
apprehension for the future.
Secondly, there is a minor matter of
corruption and graft which – seemingly – is overlooked by many. Whilst one can
unreservedly commend Ramaphosa on his public stance on stopping the rot, it's
simply not enough to rely upon commissions of inquiry to clean the air.
READ: Want to support Ramaphosa's reform agenda? Vote DA
South Africa's real problem has been the
hollowing out of its prosecutorial and policing institutions for well over a
decade and the very inability of the NPA to adequately bring charges against a
host of suspects (across both the public and private sector) casts doubt on
whether real consequences will be felt by those fingered.
Recent remarks from Ramaphosa suggesting
that the Bosasa scandal was "far worse than expected" offers little
encouragement since many of the allegations have been in the public domain for
years following courageous exposes from the likes of News24 editor, Adriaan
Similarly, Ramaphosa's view that listening
to Angelo Agrizzi's evidence is "cathartic" is peculiar to say the
least. What is really "cathartic" is bringing those who have
committed criminal offences to book.
Commissions of inquiry should not be seen
as circumventing the real hard work which comprises solid evidence-based
prosecutions. Government should not be allowed to get away with this type of
possible obfuscation of what really needs to be done. Whether Ramaphosa has the
political courage to tackle some of his most senior ministers and public
representatives on this remains to be seen.
Finally, it's all about policy. The ANC
goes into an election having presented a manifesto that is exceptionally short
on new thinking. The unanswered questions remain – and they are massive
Just how much of the taxpayers, money will
be used to bail out Eskom and other SOEs so miserably mismanaged? How will
racking up more debt-to-GDP undermine the country's credit ratings this year?
Is there any possible way of greater private sector involvement in SOEs to rid
them of gross politically induced malpractice?
Other policy conundrums are very real. What
is the real policy on the independence of the South African Reserve Bank?
Speaking with a forked tongue on this matter may do enough to confuse the
electorate, but it negatively impacts investor sentiment both globally and at
home. And, finally, what about expropriation without compensation? With no real
clarity on this matter, voters are expected to provide a blank cheque on what
could be the most fundamental issue shaping our future.
Ultimately, support for Ramaphosa requires a
giant leap of faith. The ANC is unlikely to come clean on any of these issues
simply because they can't – certainly not in the very short term.
The governing party remain locked into a
policy-rut that still requires years of fine-tuning, achieving new intellectual
input and fresh public representative talent as well as the adherence to performance-driven
results over time. This means that the fruits of real change may only be
assessed over a much longer period of real delivery.
And all these issues are so big, so
important, that they simply cannot be fopped off with an assurance that after
the election "alles sal regkom".
READ: Why voting for Ramaphosa is about reality - not ideology
South Africa's electorate require real,
unambiguous answers rather than be told that these concerns are simply "bangmaakstories" and that sanity
will prevail following a strong Ramaphosa mandate.
Supporting Cyril therefore requires an
assumption that all these issues will be favourably resolved. Yet, the politics
of the ANC teaches us that the complexities of the liberation movement are not
about to end.
The deep fissures on ideology and policy
remain as entrenched as before. The fumigation of cronyism is a long-term
project. And, a return to real nation-building has not even started.
Analysts should therefore be wary of
writing Ramaphosa a blank cheque before they have real and verifiable input (rather
than wishful thinking) of the way forward.
Brody the dog is the best part of this trip.
All you need to know about the 2019 mid-size Porsche Macan Turbo SUV.
As cyber crimes increase daily, so does the need for the Cybercrimes Bill.
South Africa's Brad Binder will be taking part in MotoGP next year.
Get all the latest scoops here!
Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela is slaying!
To address gender bias.
Cape TownTSU Protection Services (Pty) LtdR1 000.00 - R40 000.00 Per Month
Cape Town Northern SuburbsNDC Personnel & Contractors CC
GoodwoodMPC RecruitmentR6 500.00 Per Month Per Month
R 8 400 000
R 2 350 000
R 2 995 000
We subscribe to the Press Code.
You choose what you want
News24 on Android
Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.
Terms and Conditions
24.com Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012
Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.
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.