Ramaphosa’s 100 days un­der­whelm­ing --DA

African Times - - Politics - PIET RAMPEDI

PRES­I­DENT Cyril Ramaphosa’s first 100 days in of­fice have re­sulted in no change for the coun­try. That is the view of Demo­cratic Al­liance leader Mmusi Maimane who de­scribed the time as ‘un­der­whelm­ing’.

“In­deed, his first 100 days have been un­der­whelm­ing, as South Africans have right­fully ex­pected much for from the Pres­i­dent. We re­main stuck in a jobs cri­sis, while our coun­try is not safe from crime, and our politi­cians con­tinue to com­mit acts of cor­rup­tion and nepo­tism. All while liv­ing con­di­tions of South Africans have not changed. Tax is up, jobs are dy­ing, petrol is in­creas­ing, and food is be­com­ing un­af­ford­able,” he said.

“Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa is gov­ern­ing on a frag­ile, com­pro­mised man­date, and there­fore will never be able to ef­fect to­tal change that will turn our na­tion around, erad­i­cate cor­rup­tion, cre­ate mil­lions of jobs, make our coun­try safe, and fix our bro­ken ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.”

Maimane added that the elec­tion of Ramaphosa as Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of South African on 15 Fe­bru­ary 2018 was pre­dictably met by a wave of op­ti­mism and an­tic­i­pa­tion not wit­nessed in the coun­try for the bet­ter part of a decade.

He said Many be­lieved – and still do be­lieve – that the elec­tion of Ramaphosa as Pres­i­dent was the sem­i­nal mo­ment in turn­ing around the for­tunes of the coun­try and putting us back on track to be­com­ing a lead­ing light in the re­gion, on the con­ti­nent, and in the de­vel­op­ing world. “At the time of his elec­tion, South Africa was in a state of po­lit­i­cal and in­sti­tu­tional tur­moil. State cap­ture, per­va­sive and un­yield­ing cor­rup­tion, nepo­tism and pa­tron­age, an econ­omy on life sup­port and in “junk sta­tus”, record high lev­els of un­em­ploy­ment, in­creas­ing poverty reach­ing un­sus­tain­able lev­els, a ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem fail­ing our youth, and sev­eral bro­ken in­sti­tu­tions of state and State-Owned En­ti­ties (SOEs) was the sta­tus quo. It is these fun­da­men­tal is­sues which Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa is ex­pected to ad­dress and do so thor­oughly and tim­o­rously,” he said.

Maimane at­trib­uted his lack­lus­ter per­for­mance on the rul­ing party’s top six be­ing di­vided. He said that has re­sulted in many of the po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sions that in­flu­ence gov­ern­ment be­ing re­duced to a tus­sle be­tween two fac­tions within the rul­ing party.

“This is wit­nessed in what is un­fold­ing in the North West Prov­ince. Loot­ing, vi­o­lence and de­struc­tion of prop­erty has plagued the streets of the North West – par­tic­u­larly the city of Mahikeng – as dif­fer­ent fac­tions of the ANC fight each other for power in the party and in gov­ern­ment. This has seen Ramaphosa use his ex­ec­u­tive power, through Sec­tion 100 of the Con­sti­tu­tion, to try and re­solve in­ter­nal po­lit­i­cal strife within the ANC by plac­ing the prov­ince un­der ad­min­is­tra­tion. We must con­demn this move and call it out for what it is. Ramaphosa can­not use the state for in­ter­nal po­lit­i­cal ends – we saw this un­der Ja­cob Zuma and will op­pose it at ev­ery junc­ture,” he said.

“In ad­di­tion to the North West, at least three other prov­inces are fall­ing apart – namely the Free State, KwaZulu-Na­tal and the Eastern Cape. Dif­fer­ent fac­tions within these prov­inces are tak­ing each to court to chal­lenge the va­lid­ity of Pro­vin­cial Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tees (PECs), and de­ci­sions taken by the ANC provin­cially. This has ham­strung these pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments. In KwaZulu-Na­tal, po­lit­i­cal killings are on the rise as ANC fac­tions fight each other for con­trol of re­sources and ac­cess to pa­tron­age net­works. This has a di­rect ef­fect on gov­er­nance in those prov­inces and be­cause of ANC in­fight­ing, the peo­ple suf­fer. Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa is pre­sid­ing over a dis­in­te­grat­ing ANC, and our gov­ern­ments are feel­ing its neg­a­tive ef­fects,” he added.

Maimane said the past 100 days have shown lit­tle or no ev­i­dence of Ramaphosa tack­ling cor­rup­tion head on. He said his ac­tions have been scant, and he has left much to be want­ing.

Maimane main­tained that his ap­point­ment of Arthur Fraser as Na­tional Com­mis­sioner of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices is a move from the Ja­cob Zuma play­book, where ques­tion­able and com­pro­mised in­di­vid­u­als are reshuf­fled and re­hired, in­stead of fired.

“We have ap­proached the courts to have this de­ci­sion re­viewed and set aside, and we urge the Pres­i­dent to not waste time and to re­verse his de­ci­sion to re­hire Fraser fol­low­ing the al­le­ga­tions against him dur­ing his time em­ployed at the State Se­cu­rity Agency (SSA). For the Pres­i­dent to stamp his mark and be taken se­ri­ously when it comes to cor­rup­tion, he needs to en­sure the in­de­pen­dence of the NPA by im­me­di­ately ap­point­ing a Na­tional Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (NDPP) with the abil­ity to re­store the in­tegrity of the NPA,” he said.

Maimane con­tin­ued to say Ramaphosa has worked over­time in try­ing to dis­tin­guish him­self from Zuma and the ANC – as a sav­ior of the na­tion and the man who has the will, the grit, and the in­tegrity to turn our coun­try’s for­tunes around and see it pros­per. How­ever, Over the past 100 days, it has be­come clear that re­gard­less of Ramaphosa’s in­ten­tions, he is a com­prised Pres­i­dent whose pow­ers are greatly re­strained by his po­lit­i­cal party, and by the in­di­vid­ual and in­ter­est groups that got him elected.

“The cracks in ‘Ramapho­ria’ are be­gin­ning to widen. Our coun­try needs a fresh start and to­tal change, that which Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa can­not bring about. South Africa de­serves bet­ter. Our vi­sion is to see our na­tion be­come the united, pros­per­ous and non-racial coun­try we all de­sire. Where we cham­pion a vi­brant and grow­ing econ­omy that cre­ates jobs, where those left be­hind are given op­por­tu­nity, where our streets are safe and crime free, where our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem serves stu­dents and not SADTU, where the gov­ern­ment serves the peo­ple and not politi­cians, and where cor­rup­tion, nepo­tism and pa­tron­age are rel­e­gated to the pages of his­tory,” he said.

Photo Vis­ual Buzz SA

PRES­I­DENT Cyril Ramaphosa speak­ing in par­lia­ment

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