Howard Feldman

Would it kill Cyril to call?

2018-03-14 10:44
(Tammy Petersen, News24)

(Tammy Petersen, News24)

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It hasn't yet been 100 days, but would it kill Cyril Ramaphosa to be in touch?

The intention is not to make him feel guilty or anything (God forbid), but we did root for him. So, it would be nice if he would let us know how it was going from his perspective. After all, we cheered unashamedly when he won the ANC election that night in December (anything would be better than the "ex-wife") and we might even have delayed our dinner plans as we waited for the announcement (in the car).

So it didn't come without sacrifice. They could quite easily have given our table away. Not that I am complaining.

Were I Capetonian, I would consider (seriously consider) getting up early, donning my most photogenic exercise gear in order to go for a walk along the beachfront in the hope that I might grab a selfie with the man. I would be the envy of my Facebook friends. And I could also get to ask him which architect he is using for his new home. They seem very competent. But probably not cheap.

But he is not walking in Joburg. He did get to Soweto over the weekend but is yet to be spotted in the Northern Suburbs. With our crime it's sensible to only run. And not too slowly.

I don't want to sound ungracious, but it doesn't seem fair that Capetonians have the mountain, the sea and now also the president. But I guess the fact that they don't have water could make up for it. At least our taps work.

To be fair, we did have Nelson Mandela's home in Houghton where we could leave notes and take photos to send to our friends. That, of course, being the difference between the cities. Capetonians would unlikely leave anything behind.

And what's with the "land expropriation without compensation" thing? Is it the EFF or ANC's cause? Watching Parliament I am starting to feel it's like a political game of "Who wore it better?" I have no idea where the EFF ends and the ANC begins. Currently the only way to tell is that the EFF MPs are wide awake whilst the ANC MPs… well, it is tiring. Many MPs are not as young as they once were. Especially after a parliamentary lunch. Anyone would be exhausted.

Our new president is very clearly the master of the long game. If he weren't then it is unlikely he ever would have achieved the position of leader of the ANC and president of the country.  He is smart and he is a strategist and given his past, it is probable that he knows what he is doing.

The fact that he left some very dubious and useless characters as ministers in certain portfolios most likely means that he needed them in order to achieve his long term goals. It could also mean that he needed to try and keep ANC members from devouring each other. But it would be nice if he could confirm that. Just so that we might have a little more confidence in the future and in his leadership.

He might also have decided that it is best to give EFF leader Julius Malema enough rope to hang himself. Malema, at the moment, is so busy rushing from populist cause to populist cause that he hardly has the time to breathe, let alone take a stroll on the gorgeous Cape Town beachfront. His strategy seems to be limited to throwing mud against walls to see what sticks. And whatever does, will become the cause of the day.

Last week Malema advocated removing items from supermarkets in case of listeriosis, then he wanted to march on the SA Reserve Bank to protest something or other; he tackled service delivery in Cape Town and threatened to remove Athol Trollip as mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay because he is white. And this was before his first flat white of the day (assuming that he doesn't have a racial concern about this innocuous cup of coffee). All whilst the president walks and walks and walks and walks.

And doesn't write.

South Africa's euphoria at the changing of the guard was tangible. For a time, the sun shone brighter and the birds sang a little louder. And although no one can be happy for too long (it's apparently not healthy), it would be nice if he sent us a message from time to time just to say hi and let us know that all is good, and that we are still walking in the right direction. 

- Feldman is the author of Carry on Baggage and Tightrope and the afternoon drive show presenter on Chai FM.

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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