Cyril Ramaphosa will have about three months to get rid of Zuma, and then about a year to prove that the ANC has self-corrected and he and the party are on the right path. Then come the 2019 elections.
So, what is next?
He will have to tackle many huge tasks and do so very quickly. Once he starts to tackle them he will begin to realise that winning the ANC presidential election was the easy part.
Lucky for him he will have the majority of ANC supporters on his side. Poll after poll has revealed that he has far more support amongst ANC voters than any of his opponents.
Embrace the State Capture Inquiry
Doing so will help to distance him and his fellow leaders from the rampant corruption that went before. Besides, the commission can help locate and root out at least some corruption.
What to do with still president Jacob Zuma?
Until Ramaphosa has dealt with this issue, all the other key issues are on hold and impossible to tackle effectively. He needs to get his hands on the levers of power and start pulling them. To do so, Zuma must go. But how does Ramaphosa achieve this?
- Will Zuma voluntarily resign? I very much doubt it.
- Would Zuma go if Ramaphosa offered him amnesty? Possibly (even it meant throwing his fellow-looters under the bus), but could Ramaphosa get away with offering such amnesty? More and more South Africans want to see Zuma go to jail for a long time.
- Would an ANC structure recall him? Possibly, depends on who is elected to such structures.
- Would parliament vote him out? Quite possibly. The ANC is averse to ‘two centres or power’. My instinct is that parliament, this time led by ANC members (and supported by opposition parties), could pass a motion of no confidence. This time the waverers would support the motion as many ANC MPs would want to show their support for the new ANC leader.
Full support for judiciary
He should express full support for the judiciary and the constitution – they are his strongest allies in rooting out corruption and he needs to reassure them.
Ramaphosa needs to install his own cabinet. It must consist of strong women and men, with high ethics, leadership ability, and knowledge of their portfolios. Sharp people. People South Africa can be proud of, not ashamed of. He will not want Zuma’s gang still there while the state capture inquiry is running. Besides, Gang Zuma will be on their final looting spree. It needs to be stopped, quickly.
SOE, ESKOM, SABC, etc., review
Initiate a thorough review of all SOE and similar boards replacing riff-raff with ethical, competent, knowledgeable board members. Also, review key leadership of all state and related enterprises. Start the task of depoliticising the SOEs – almost all of which have become hopelessly entangled with corruption and self-servng opportunism.
Economy and job creation
Local business and the wider world could respond positively, and confidence could rise, if he called an Economic CODESA and included all stakeholders including the usually ‘left out in the cold’ unemployed. Business confidence could rise. Investment could begin again. Downgrades start reversing. He should get on with it.
Cyril better hurry!
Ramaphosa had better hurry. By the time he has got rid of Zuma, he won’t have much more than a year before the 2019 elections to prove that the ANC has ‘self-corrected’, is getting the economy moving and creating jobs, lots of them.
See why I said beating Dlamini-Zuma was the easy part?
Does Ramaphosa have the balls?
The above are huge tasks to complete within five years – undoing the damage done by the Zuma years may, in some instances, take decades. To make significant progress in little more than a year before the 2019 election is a monumental task. Ramaphosa is known as a world-class negotiator. But if he were to try and negotiate his way through these tasks it would take forever.
Cometh the time, cometh the leader? What South Africa (and the ANC) needs today, is a leader with a clear vision, a clear plan of action, and the determination to get things done. South Africa is sick of all the words, slogans, promises and inaction with which the ANC government became synonymous during the Zuma years.