The structural reforms that President Cyril Ramaphosa is currently introducing are a strong indication he is gaining an upper hand over left-leaning populists in the battle for control of economic policy formulation inside the ruling ANC.
Ramaphosa made a raft of promises to tackle our country’s biggest bugbears – endemic corruption, a failing economy, and runaway unemployment. For a while he dithered, then stalled, on making good on his promises, to the disappointment of many South Africans who had bought into his message of “renewal”, “unity” and a “new dawn”. The murmurs of disappointment also extended to the investment community, which has been losing patience over the slow pace of policy reforms needed to breathe new life into a flagging SA economy.
Ramaphosa’s supporters urged the public to be patient, arguing that the slow-moving president was consultative in his nature and preferred bringing everyone on board with him. However, the president was perceived to be over consultative as South Africans wanted to see meaningful change following a decade of massive corruption and state ineptitude under his predecessor, former president Jacob Zuma.