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ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa at the party's policy conference. (AFP File)
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Robert J. Traydon
With former president Jacob Zuma having taken his last gasp before sinking beneath the waves of change, South Africa is set to explode with opportunity for economic resurgence and political healing.While
many experts remain sceptical of Ramaphosa's capacity to purge the ANC of its
criminal and incompetent elements, the ousting of Zuma is certainly an
encouraging step in the right direction. This should be taken to heart by all
those citizens who were on the verge of losing all hope and/or emigrating to
other parts of the world.
fact is, there is also no better stoker of South African optimism than a rallying
Rand. Since November 2017, the Rand has gained almost 20% in value against major
currencies, far outstripping its emerging market counterparts.
is a clear 'thumbs-up' from the international community who appear to be
bullish about the trajectory that South Africa is embarking on. And their
confidence is not unfounded … our nation is rising up from the ashes of corruption,
patronage, racial rhetoric, stagnant growth, rampant unemployment, widespread social
unrest, populist economic policy, debilitating political uncertainty and, not
to mention, international ridicule.
just has to walk the streets to get that growing sense of optimism – something we
haven't felt for a long time. There's an edge of anticipation when conversing
with people of every colour, creed and background – ranging from street vendors
palpable and we must continue to nurture it like the first flame of a fire,
because if we do, this country will explode into the 'African Lion' of
educational reform, economic growth, accelerating employment and, in turn, upliftment
of the poor/uneducated on an unimaginable scale.
the sad truth is, our nation has been the laughing stock of all those nations
that have gained from South Africa's unprecedented skills emigration over the
like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States (US), Ireland and the
United Kingdom (UK) have been more than happy to welcome our swathes of qualified
professionals looking to live in countries that offer more secure prospects for
themselves and their children. The negative impact of this skills exodus cannot
be overstated, and South Africa's economy (and family network) is all the
poorer for it.
to New Zealand last week for the Coast to Coast race, there were a number of
passengers on my flight who were either visiting family who have already
emigrated there; were emigrating there themselves; or were visiting to see
whether New Zealand was a viable country to emigrate to. The numbers were
staggering, and this was just a single flight.
us hope that Ramaphosa turns out to be an extraordinary statesman who can
regain the trust of our nation and turn the tide on this emigration tsunami.
us also hope that Ramaphosa recognises the importance of teamwork irrespective
of race, because only as a united people will we be able to overcome the
challenges that stand ahead of us.
speaking, race relations on the ground and across South Africa are far better
than the media and social media suggest – far better in fact than nations such
as Australia, the US and the UK where both racial and religious tension is conspicuous.
there are pockets of racial tension across our nation, but the vast majority of
South Africans of all races get on extremely well and have the utmost respect
for one another – and we shouldn't let racially-motivated activists/policy
undermine this respect.
early days, but few can deny that today is looking much brighter than
yesterday. South Africa is an incredible nation and if there was ever a time
for South Africans to ride the wave of patriotism, now is surely that time.
- Robert J. Traydon is a BSc
graduate of Engineering and the author of 'Wake-up Call: 2035'. He's
travelled to over 40 countries across six continents and worked in various
business spheres. As a contrarian thinker, his articles explore a wide range of current affairs from a unique perspective.
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
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