Written by: Errol Naidoo
Article source: familypolicyinstitute.com
All eyes will be fixed on President Cyril Ramaphosa when he delivers the State of the Nation Address (SONA) at a joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday 13 February 2020. I recall sitting a few yards behind the podium in the National Assembly when Mr Ramaphosa delivered his upbeat “New Dawn” speech in February 2018.
Among other promises made in his first SONA, Mr Ramaphosa said, “his administration was committed to policy certainty and consistency.” The previous nine years under Zuma was marked by unpredictable policy shifts and cabinet changes that precipitated fluctuating financial markets and a massive currency collapse in 2015.
Mr Ramaphosa also declared, “This is the year (2018) in which we will turn the tide of corruption in our public institutions. We are determined to build a society defined by decency and integrity, that does not tolerate the plunder of public resources nor the theft by corporate criminals of the hard-earned savings of ordinary people.” His speech sparked widespread optimism.
Fast forward two years and the optimism of the “New Dawn” speech has largely dissipated. Most South Africans have lost hope in government’s will and ability to “turn the tide.” Gross maladministration and the burgeoning debt crisis at numerous State Owned Enterprises intensifies – signaling massive job losses.
ANC alliance partner, COSATU – hoping to save jobs – presented government with a R254 billion “rescue plan” for debt-laden Eskom. Apparently, public pension funds will be “invested” in the ailing power utility to offset part of its R450 billion debt. Interestingly, COSATU’s demands echo global investors – jail the corrupt!
The political party Mr Ramaphosa leads must take full responsibility for the precarious state of the nation, including the staggering theft of public funds. Although I believe Mr Ramaphosa meant what he said in his “New Dawn” speech – he is facing massive internal resistance within his own party. He does however, have the support of some principled members.
The silver-lining around the gathering dark clouds of political and economic turmoil is the fact that international investors still have faith in South Africa’s potential. However, global investment comes with strict conditions which include measurable plans to eradicate corruption, the swift prosecution of those implicated in State Capture and the implementation of fiscal policies that curb government debt, stabilise SOE’s and promote economic growth.
In addition, many citizens do not trust this government with the noble objectives of land reform. Most believe, the “Land Expropriation without Compensation” policy is not “in the public interest” but will be manipulated to benefit the corrupt and the politically connected.
The response to South Africa’s economic crisis from the ‘World Economic Forum’ in Davos leaves Mr Ramaphosa with little room to maneuver. No more empty promises and delays! Investors demand convincing and decisive action from government before they will commit to its pleas for help.
Consequently, Mr Ramaphosa’s back is firmly against the wall. This SONA speech must be the most decisive of his political career if he hopes to realise the dreams of a “New Dawn” for the nation.
Like the US, South Africa elected a billionaire businessman as its State President. Mr Ramaphosa’s experiential knowledge of the business world and his understanding of economics will leave him with little doubt about the enormous challenges facing this country.
He also has a clear understanding of what must be done. As a result, Mr Ramaphosa faces the greatest personal challenge of his public service – to do what is right for the nation in the face of massive opposition from the corrupt and self-serving parasites in his party.
The policy road President Cyril Ramaphosa embarks upon at the 2020 SONA is the road every citizen must travel. That is why you and I must commit to intercede for the president and those courageous enough to act in the best interest of SA.
Heartfelt and fervent Prayer brings change and alters the destinies of nations.
Please Pray that Mr Ramaphosa will act courageously and decisively in the best interest of the people of South Africa and give no heed to the corrupt in the ANC. Remember, with God all things are possible.
Date published: 11/02/2020
Feature image: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Credit – GCIS
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