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No second chances for the dawn of a new dithering

No second chances for the dawn of a new dithering

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IF CYRIL Ramaphosa is elected a second time as ANC leader, it could mean a second term as State President of South Africa, writes Masibongwe Sihlahla …

Having already suffered his “New Dawn”, which has turned out to be a “New Dusk” with warnings of Stage 8 load shedding courtesy of Eskom, being primed, do we really need more of the same?

Ramaphosa’s “New Dawn” has been an old disaster dressed in new garb, underpinned by what I call the “New Dithering” – the President’s indecisiveness and fence-sitting approach, which have been the hallmarks of his regime. This has also communicated itself to the foreign press and diplomatic corps as his dithering and lack of taking the bull by the horns undermines confidence in him and his abilities and, de fact, South Africa itself.

South Africa is classified by the World Bank as an upper-middle-income country. Yet, with a dithering head of government, continued load shedding impacting industry and individuals’ productivity, a crumbling infrastructure of roads, rail and water networks, and a bunch of half and empty promises and platitudes, how long before our already eroded investment status becomes actual junk?

Among a plethora of ills facing the country are the perennial promises to end load shedding, with a presidential special energy committee to oversee a specific plan to keep the lights on and help us move forward. Instead, there have been a series of Stage 5 and Stage 6 load shedding days, for up to 8 – 12 hours per day, with the shadow of Stage 8 looming on the horizon.

SAA, a disaster for years, continues to be a drain on taxpayers’ ever-shrinking wallets and will continue to do so, so long as the wrong people are appointed to positions of authority and sway. The same can be said of pretty much every state-owned enterprise.

Political killings continue unabated, a lawless and ineffectual police force within a gangster state, where the head honcho sets the example by hiding undeclared foreign currency in the furniture in his house – aka Phala Phalagate. Add to the pot how the Public Protector was fired because she sent the state president questions regarding the Phala Phalagate, raising issues of ethics and an abuse of power.

Ramaphosa was a bystander who apparently was blind at the time that the Guptas ran amok with our economy. Was he playing the long game so he could be elected to wreak his own special kind of havoc on South Africa’s crumbling defences and resistance to corruption? We may never know, but what I do know is that he and his cohort have much to answer for – prior to and during his ascension to the highest post in the land.

Can we afford this president who has used his position as head of the ANC to browbeat Parliament to let him off the hook and not answer questions? Will the electorate, cheated of its promised land, have the appetite for yet another round of false starts and political manoeuvring that allows the rich to continue to take from the poor?

I sincerely hope not, as our country can ill afford to give Ramaphosa a second chance.

Masibongwe Sihlhla is an independent writer and a political analyst. The views expressed here are his own.

Sunday Independent

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