Rat­ings come home to roost

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

FOR MOST South African cit­i­zens, “rat­ings” have be­come a sin­is­ter term used by over­seas credit agen­cies to as­sess the state of the lo­cal econ­omy.

We have be­come weari­somely fa­mil­iar with the pro­nounce­ments of the agen­cies that we en­joy “junk” sta­tus, although this is a re­cent de­vel­op­ment.

How­ever, the prac­tice of ap­ply­ing rat­ings to po­lit­i­cal lead­ers is well es­tab­lished else­where. In Europe, Pres­i­dent Hol­lande con­sis­tently polled about 15%, as against Macron’s cur­rent rat­ing of over 60%.

In the US, po­lit­i­cal rat­ings have a long tra­di­tion. Cur­rently Pres­i­dent Trump’s “ap­proval rat­ing” is steadily sink­ing and threats of im­peach­ment loom. But Trump is a bil­lion­aire TV host who has be­come a politi­cian, with­out ex­pe­ri­ence.

Fur­ther, this rat­ing is hardly sur­pris­ing, given per­sis­tent al­le­ga­tions of Rus­sian con­nec­tions, his per­sonal hos­til­ity to the me­dia, his ag­gres­sive for­eign pol­icy and bel­liger­ent dic­ta­to­rial be­hav­iour, as well as fail­ures in health care and job cre­ation.

The par­al­lel with the Zuma ad­min­is­tra­tion is ob­vi­ous, with the Zupta in­fil­tra­tion, cor­rup­tion, “state cap­ture”, un­em­ploy­men and vac­il­la­tion over land pol­icy. It seems ex­tra­or­di­nary that Zuma’s “dis­ap­proval rat­ing” is hardly ever men­tioned, although a fig­ure of 70% had a brief cur­rency.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.