Cyril Ramaphosa cannot save South Africa, only the voters can in 2019

Issued by Mmusi Maimane – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
18 Dec 2017 in News

The election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC President is too little too late for the ANC, and means very little for the people of South Africa who have been left behind in poverty and joblessness. The ANC is dead and cannot self-correct, no matter who is at the helm. This is because the party itself is held together only by the glue of patronage and corruption, and Cyril Ramaphosa is just a new face to the same old ANC. The future of South Africa lies outside of the ANC. It is up to the voters to bring about total change by removing the ANC in 2019 and ushering a new beginning for our country.

Ramaphosa now leads a deeply divided organisation, which has evolved into a self-serving party that has forgotten the poor and the jobless. The truth is, no matter who leads the ANC, cabinet and policy direction is determined by the party, and it has been these ANC policies that have sought to withdraw South Africa from the International Criminal Court (ICC), kept poor people locked out of the economy, captured the mining sector, chased after an unaffordable Nuclear Deal, and increased unemployment with now over 9 million South Africans without a job.

Ramaphosa has stood in Jacob Zuma’s shadow for years, silent in the face of his crimes and the crimes of fellow ANC comrades. His election means that the corrupt system that is oppressing South Africans will continue. Ramaphosa has relied on David Mabuza to secure a marginal victory, in turn electing him as Deputy President. As Premier of Mpumalanga, Mabuza has presided over a collapsing province, characterised by maladministration and corruption, while keeping people in poverty.

Even before being elected ANC Deputy President in 2012, Ramaphosa’s political career has been one of silence towards corruption in government. He has shown no willingness or ability to fight corruption and State Capture. While serving as Jacob Zuma’s Deputy President since 2014, he sat silently on the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) while the ANC looted the state and stole money from the people of South Africa.

Ramamphosa’s first act as ANC President must be to recall Jacob Zuma as President of the South Africa, prosecuting him for his corruption charges, and jailing him if he is found guilty. If he fails to do so, Ramaphosa will show South Africa that the leaders in the ANC are all friends, and they practice their corruption together.

In addition to this, Ramaphosa must ensure an immediate plan of action is adopted, which seeks to do the following:

  • Scrap any version of a “Nuclear Deal”;
  • Appoint a new, competent National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) in order for prosecutions against Zuma and others to swiftly proceed;
  • Commit to a National Budget that is balanced and sustainable, and carefully manages the public sector wage bill;
  • An entire overhaul of the structure and management of State Owned Entitles (SOEs), including a “clean up” of captured boards and executives, and selling off those SOEs which strangle our economy and the national fiscus; and
  • Ensure that a future cabinet is comprised of fit for purpose individuals, rather than a “rewards scheme” for certain factions within the ANC.

These are the short term interventions that Ramaphosa must urgently action.

As the Democratic Alliance (DA), we will continue our preparation for 2019 national elections.  The opportunity for the realignment of politics in South Africa is now before us, and we are committed to this project – regardless of what happens within the ANC. The future lies in a post-ANC South Africa.

We are committed to working with any political party committed to constitutionalism; stamping out corruption; building a non-racial South Africa; educational and work opportunities for the youth; and a policy suite focused on creating prosperity for all South Africans – especially those left behind.

This is the South Africa we seek to build, and our project continues regardless of who leads the ANC.