Cyril, give us message of hope
A new year heralds new beginnings and, for many, a chance to start all over again with the hope of doing whatever they do better than the last time out.
Last year has been in the main an annus horribilis for our country, with the economy hitting untold lows rarely seen since the advent of our democracy nearly 24 years ago.
The attainment of freedom held for the vast majority a dawn of a day filled with hope, promise and the possibility to unlock the potential locked in by an inhumane system that sought to render blacks, and Africans specifically, subhuman.
The hope that 1994 and the subsequent years of relative prosperity and a place at the proverbial dinner table - albeit for a few more of a darker hue - have started to feel like a distant memory and a lost opportunity.
We witnessed at the tail-end of the year, the governing ANC holding a national conference where Cyril Ramaphosa emerged as the party's new president.
Today, on January 8 - the birthday of the ANC - Ramaphosa will, as per party tradition, take to the podium to deliver a speech spelling out policy, aspirations and a programme to be followed to bring those to fruition. A nation at large will be watching and listening carefully to what he has to say, simply because what the ANC does or omits to do affects us all - as long as it remains the undisputed giant of our politics that it is.
We hope the new president of the ANC will indeed have a message of hope for the nation, yet we know it will take much more than nursing and nurturing hope to bring out the potent greatness now held hostage by an incompetent administration of the man he succeeded.
The Zuma years have had such a debilitating effect on the economy. It is because of the bleak economy that there are almost desperate calls for the man to go now if South Africa is to start rebuilding itself.
As he addresses the nation, yes the nation - not just the party faithful, many will stick an ear out on the Zuma question. It might be the single biggest pointer to what the presidency of Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa will hold for SA were the ANC to win the 2019 elections.
Whatever he and the party choose to do, we hope it will be all in the interest of SA. Good luck.
To the rest of our countrymen and women, Sowetan wishes you a happy and really productive 2018.