Politics

Brinkmanship

There’s a 500+ page tome waiting for my winter break, Ramaphosa’s biography. 

The 2019 election campaign became very ‘presidentialised’ – as if your vote was for a president, not the party that would make him (no females) president. As with many of the rest of the country who did not vote for the party that installed him as our President, if I could have voted for him and not some of the other representatives of that party, I probably would have. 

Urban legend promotes wonderful stories of Cyril, the negotiator, during the heady days of hammering out the Constitution. One desperately wants to believe he is the skilled negotiator who is playing the long game in terms of weeding out the rot of State Capture. Nevertheless, prickly questions about why he did nothing as Deputy to Zuma cast aspersions on the man, but perhaps it is the party structure that held him captive. However, if that is true, as president, will he be better able to coral his supporters against those within the administration who are working to undermine him? Does the party structure allow it?

Then take the task of our president to the next level. To our country’s failing economy – and the need for growth in the face of global trends that do not support this objective. Ask – honestly – how he can reverse the devastation of more than 20 years’ ‘cadre deployment’ that has effectively wrecked a previously functional civil service? How can he fight off attacks from within to rebuild sound structural solutions to shore up his administration? Will his cautious observational tactics and generously allowing people enough rope to hang themselves be enough to heal the chiasmic rifts between business and labour, between Civil Service grifters and workers? How will he steer a rudderless government by playing a waiting game?

I hope to better understand the man after reading his biography, but I suspect understanding will only follow an autobiography – as yet unpublished.

By Lee Maddeux

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