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FRIDAY BRIEFING | SA’s leaderless mess


friday briefing

SA’s leaderless mess  

While the country deals with myriad challenges – such as load shedding, water shedding, growing joblessness, poverty and inequality – we have been waiting for several days to hear if we are getting a new Cabinet following the ANC’s elective conference in December. 

The announcement that ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile had officially become a member of the National Assembly, replacing ANC MP Tshilidzi Munyai, who resigned earlier this week, has set in motion the process to make Mashatile the country’s deputy president.

The move comes after current Deputy President David Mabuza informed President Cyril Ramaphosa of his intention to resign a few days ago.

With South Africans feeling increasingly anxious about the state of the country, calls have been made to Ramaphosa to bring in those who show a new sense of purpose beyond trying to appease factions within the party, following his second-term win last year.

Names put forward for potential removal include Lindiwe Sisulu and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Sisulu previously attacked the constitutional democratic system and rule of law, while her campaign for presidency of the party, as well as that of Dlamini-Zuma’s, revealed they had both lost confidence in Ramaphosa.

Concerns have also been raised about the performance of several other ministers in Ramaphosa’s Cabinet, especially as the country grapples with continuous load shedding. 

With many citizens feeling like the country is on a downward track, we consider the issue of whether it is facing a leadership crisis and what needs to change if we are going to see a brighter future in this week’s edition of Friday Briefing. 

Futurologist Clem Sunter examines the kind of leadership we have globally and the potential for catastrophe there, considering the Ukraine conflict, before bringing it home. 

Academic Professor Tinyiko Maluleke reflects on “Madiba Magic”, writing if Nelson Mandela had to walk down the streets of Soweto today, he would find being Mandela hard, due to the country’s ongoing challenges.

Maluleke puts forward who he thinks should be in the Cabinet – and surprise, it definitely is not a list of politicians. 

The convenor of the Rise Mzansi Campaign, Songezo Zibi, reflects on some of Maluleke’s concerns in his piece, writing that to avoid the leadership crisis which is prevalent now at a local level, we need to encourage South Africans to go to the polls and vote. 

Finally, academic Dr Mamphela Ramphele explains why she thinks the ANC is unable to provide the country with the necessary leadership. 

We hope you enjoy the read. 


Vanessa Banton

Opinions editor 

The ANC can’t provide the needed leadership to turn around the country

Mamphela Ramphele argues that the ANC has proven time and time again that is incompetent, corrupt and totally immune to the pleas of citizens for basic services and decent living standards. She argues that 2024 will provide South Africans with a wonderful opportunity for a fresh start.

EXCERPT | ‘The Presidents’: The ANC has failed to plan for the next tier of leaders

Since 1994, South Africa has had five presidents who have varied greatly in style and character, despite all belonging to the same political party. Richard Calland and Mabel Sithole in their book ‘The Presidents, examine how the five compare. The book was published last year, ahead of the ANC elective conference, in which Cyril Ramaphosa did get his second term. In this excerpt, the writers consider Ramaphosa’s game plan as a leader and where it hasn’t worked

cartoon by carlos

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