Ramaphosa's hitting the right buttons

28 May 2018 - 08:20
By Jo-Mangaliso Mdhlela
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe President Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's Thuma Mina five-month-old campaign to recalibrate the troubled ANC appears to be gaining traction if the Ipsos approval rating is to be believed.

Of the Ipsos Mobile Pulse sampling of 750 cellphone users and registered voters, 76% of them believe he is the right person to save the country from political implosion, and by extension, lead his own party to winning the 2019 national election with ease.

The ANC, under former president Jacob Zuma, was a disaster. For example, it lost several vital municipality elections to the DA-led coalition, including the metrosof Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay,

The Zuma era was characterised by eye-watering misgovernance and the plunder of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). A lack of good governance rendered those entities dysfunctional.

South African Airways is a typical example of what such mismanagement entails. So was Eskom, and other state entities that floundered during the Zuma era.

But Ramaphosa is cracking the whip in an effort to clean up these organisations. This is in line with what he promised the country when he was elected ANC president, narrowly beating - by less than 300 votes - his nearest rival, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, during the national conference of the party in Nasrec, Johannesburg, in December.

It was at that conference that Ramaphosa committed to cleaning up the image of the ANC.

With him having completed his 100 days in office as president of the country, all appears to be going well for him.

He seems to have mustered the courage to deal a blow to Zuma's allies who were at the forefront of state capture, with the Gupta brothers, and some cabinet ministers who used every opportunity -inside and outside parliament - to defend the misgovernance.

Now affirmed as a better, suitable leader since the days of ousted president Thabo Mbeki, the world imagines Ramaphosa to be the country's saviour from exploitation by leaders with dubious intentions.

But questions must also be raised. Who is giving Ramaphosa the thumbs up? Does this include the landless people, those that EFF leader Julius Malema is farming ?

Certainly, the burgeoning unrest and agitation and land grabs must be an indication that while business may be giving Ramaphosa the thumbs up, the landless may have other ideas up their sleeves.

The EFF has always been lurking on the horizon, threatening, through its land expropriation without compensation strategy, to dislodge the governing power from political power.

That threat has not dissipated; it is still being felt by the ANC. And with the DA seemingly on the brink of splintering, and an election looming, it is good news for the governing party that Ramaphosa polls so well.