That the South African ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) won the recently concluded national elections in South Africa is not news. Rather, it is the fact that the party’s victory margin has never been so abominably low. It is a historic loss. The meagre performance in the poll can be attributed to three major reasons: chronic corruption within the ANC ruling cadre, skyrocketed unemployment, unabridged inequality. Sadly, these social problems have given birth to other dangerous and explosive havoc like persistent crime, loss of trust in the government, lack of social services, poor education, alarming xenophobic attacks on African foreigners in South Africa, to say the least. Unfortunately, despite all the promises by different previous ANC leaders to tackle all these problems, many South Africans believe the challenges are, in fact, getting worse. How best can these angry South Africans show their frustrations than at the polling station? At least, showing their anger and frustrations at the poll is much better than barbarically, lynching innocent foreigners whom many gullible South Africans blame for their woes.
After taking over power from the allegedly god-father of corruption, former President Jacob Zuma, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised, just like Mr Zuma himself, total baptismal healing of South African social ills. A new South Africa. New and free from corruption. That was not all. President Ramaphosa did not vow to only pull the corruption bull by the horn; he promised to aggressively dismantle the corruption tent, no matter who lives in there. Unfortunately, many South Africans are still disappointedly, waiting for a visible action from their President. The visible tent is hardly touched, many believe.
The once-booming South Africa’s economy is steadily heading to the abysmal pit of decline and uncertainty. Unemployment is stubbornly high. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening mercilessly every day. The presence of basic social services like housing, sanitation, hospital is a daydream. Wondering what the former icon of peace and one of the Founding Fathers of the new South Africa President Nelson Mandela would have said about the present worrisome state of affairs in his beloved country. Adieu Amanda! Good bye the Lion of Africa!
Although President Ramaphosa has won the election, the political arena of South Africa has hardly changed. The same old story is being told. Just like the same old song being sung – the song of corruption, inequality, unemployment, crime, economic malaise, social cum economic annihilation, you mention them. The same song, which the previous leaders sang, but they promised to change the rhythm and tone of the song. Rather than changing the tone, the same song is getting louder and more depressing.
Will President Ramaphosa have the courage to change the tune of the unwelcome song? Will corruption and impunity continue to prosper in South Africa? Ranked by the United Nations as the most unequal country in the world, South Africa needs a full commitment and determination from its leader to change the situation in that country. Will President Ramaphosa listen to the persistent cries of the poor South Africans and take drastic actions to change the political, social, economic situation of the country? Only if President Ramaphosa could know how much many South Africans – and the rest of the world – look up to him to make things right in South Africa. Time is running out for the charismatic Ramaphosa.
The earlier President Ramaphosa decides to wash South Africa’s corruption-soaked clothes with Omo detergent, the better for him and South Africans. By so doing, history will judge him as the Messianic South Africa’s leader, who courageously washed the social-ills of South Africa clean – albeit with different washing powder.