President Ramaphosa has long to-do list to make SA shine again

President Cyril Ramaphosa makes his way to the podium before his inauguration at Loftus in Tshwane, which was attended by more than 32,000 South Africans on Saturday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa makes his way to the podium before his inauguration at Loftus in Tshwane, which was attended by more than 32,000 South Africans on Saturday.
Image: Michele Spatari/AFP

President Cyril Ramaphosa has now been inaugurated. Although his party received a reduced majority, he has all the powers of a legitimately installed president.

Ramaphosa has an urgent strategic task to attend to: rebuilding collapsed state institutions. It entails resuscitating the criminal justice system and revitalising state-owned companies.

It is a banal truism that crime and corruption have become endemic in our society. No investor wants to spend time in a country known as the murder capital of the world.

The Zondo commission corroborates the view that ours is one of the most corrupt countries in Africa. This can be reversed by a criminal justice system seen to be throwing high-profile criminals behind bars.

Most South Africans have commended Ramaphosa for appointing a credible head of the National Prosecuting Authority. What remains is for him to appoint a credible police commissioner. The current one was appointed by a thug, former president Jacob Zuma. It must also be remembered that the commissioner was head of the police in the Free State, under a notorious gangster, Ace Magashule.

The public will not believe that Ramaphosa is serious about fighting corruption until we see his senior comrade-criminals arrested and prosecuted. The biggest question mark surrounds Magashule. When will he be arrested?

The fact that the ANC scored under 60% in the elections will be used to fuel an early succession debate in the party. The debate will be a sinister attempt to weaken Ramaphosa.

As a counter, Ramaphosa must give a strong signal to law enforcement agencies to prioritise cases involving his comrade-criminals. The agenda, though, must not be to target political enemies. It must be to send a clear message to society that we are all equal before the law.

It is obvious that state-owned companies are the backbone of the economy. When Eskom fails, everything fails. A dysfunctional Transnet is a drag on our exports.

There are three main problems facing state-owned companies: poor governance, corruption and financial mismanagement. These problems will not be solved by splitting a company. Ramaphosa must remember that Transnet, Prasa and SAA are products of a split. Yet their problems remain.

In addition to fighting corruption and fixing state-owned companies, Ramaphosa must focus on resuscitating our dysfunctional public education system. Schools in black townships and rural areas have virtually collapsed.

Ramaphosa must get Sadtu out of the way. Principals and teachers must be assessed on results. Those who do not produce results must be forced to undergo retraining, and fired if they don't improve. No-one must be allowed to play games with the future of our children.

The last area of focus for Ramaphosa must be policy articulation. Under Zuma, loud mouths in the ANC were allowed to confuse our nation by promoting hollow and divisive slogans such as "radical economic transformation". They did so while looting state resources.

Ramaphosa must take charge of the policy direction of the government. He must reprimand and disown reckless pseudo-radicals associated with his party who use slogans around land and transformation to divide our nation.

Transformation must be a national priority. But the BEE model that has enriched Ramaphosa and his fellow ANC comrades must be discontinued. Ramaphosa has vast land in Mpuma-
langa, but sadly the majority of black people do not.

We do not need millionaires who receive dividends from shares in white-owned companies. We need a genuine black industrial class that runs real factories that produce real stuff and create jobs for black people.

Ramaphosa has a big advantage. Most South Africans wish him well. It is mainly his comrade-criminals in the ANC who are busy sharpening knives to stab him. Will he throw them behind bars before they stab? Only time will tell.

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