Anti-Zuma protests TAKE OVER SA

While the marches are draw­ing at­ten­tion to po­lit­i­cal de­bate, are they achiev­ing their in­ten­tions?

Move! - - ISSUE - By Phaka­mani Mve­lashe

MANY South Africans have taken to the streets to ex­press their dis­sat­is­fac­tion with Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s pres­i­dency. This mo­bil­i­sa­tion is led by op­po­si­tion par­ties and civil so­ci­ety groups. This comes after the pres­i­dent’s reshuf­fling of the cabi­net and the down­grad­ing of South Africa to junk sta­tus by credit rat­ing agen­cies.

THE NE­CES­SITY OF DEMON­STRA­TIONS

Ac­cord­ing to pol­icy an­a­lyst and hu­man rights ac­tivist, Nkosikhu­l­ule Nyem­bezi, these marches and demon­stra­tions are an in­di­ca­tion that in this coun­try there’s free­dom of ex­pres­sion which is some­thing pos­i­tive about our democ­racy.

He says even if they don’t man­age to achieve their goal of re­mov­ing the pres­i­dent from of­fice, these marches are nec­es­sary to bring aware­ness. He says it’s about mo­bil­i­sa­tion of the masses.

There were peo­ple who were un­aware about the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion and now these demon­stra­tions will make them aware.

“A march will draw the at­ten­tion of the public to that de­bate and

ED SHONGWANE

It may not solve our prob­lems at the mo­ment, but it will surely send a clear warn­ing to those we voted into power. Nyem­bezi says it’s not easy to put weight into what the pres­i­dent is say­ing, point­ing out that we ought to ques­tion our­selves about be­ing in junk sta­tus.

“The ef­fects of the bad credit rat­ings will be felt for a long time. But there are other sec­tors that will feel it later in the year. To turn the sit­u­a­tion around will take about five to seven years. The ques­tion is, is our econ­omy re­silient enough to with­stand it this time? The an­swer to this ques­tion is, only time will tell.”

WHAT IS UNIQUE

How­ever, he says we shouldn’t think we’re headed for the same fate as other African coun­tries. “What is unique about South Africa is that we are in the ado­les­cent years of our democ­racy,” says Nyem­bezi.

“We’re go­ing through these stages be­cause we’re a ma­tur­ing democ­racy. This is a test of how strong our democ­racy is.” NSIZWER HLUBI I doubt if protests can ad­dress our is­sues. This will in­stead scare off com­pa­nies that would in­vest in South Africa. ex­pose the cracks within our pol­i­tics,” he says.

Pres­i­dent Zuma says the marches were a clear in­di­ca­tion that racism still ex­ists in South Africa.

JUNK STA­TUS AF­FECTS US ALL

MARCHES NEC­ES­SARY TO BRING AWARE­NESS

MAEDOTHI PHAMODI

I don’t think so be­cause this coun­try is al­ready messed up. I can only hope for bet­ter things.

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