Will the new, improved Zuma take charge at last?

10 February 2015 - 02:24
By The Times Editorial
Image: Supplied

Talk continued into the parking area after the lunch meeting with President Jacob Zuma on Sunday.

Those in attendance remarked at how relaxed Zuma was, and on how he spoke with conviction.

Some attributed this to the absence of his many minders, who sometimes shove scripts under his nose at public engagements.

Zuma' s posture suggested that he was finally getting comfortable with his job. T here were no piles of notes , n o minders to clarify points.

The president opened the door to show us how he sees and understands the world and local matters. If only he would stage more such engagements with the media all the grey areas about his leadership and whether he is suitable to remain president could be settled.

As Zuma prepares for his State of the Nation speech on Thursday we hope that he resolves to speak from the heart and talk to the nation about the pressing problems facing us.

He should take charge.

South Africans expect him to show leadership and not allow parliamentary proceedings to collapse under his watch, despite threats from Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters to sabotage his national address.

The Speaker of parliament can only do so much. It is up to the president to prevent the chaos threatened for Thursday.

Although the disputes about the public money spent on his private residence in Nkandla have to be settled, South Africa has bigger problems to deal with.

The state of the national power utility, Eskom, which is buckling under pressure to meet the demand for electricity, must be clarified and a turnaround strategy spelt out.

Rampant crime and unemployment are some of the issues South Africans deal with every day. This nation should not be held hostage to failures of governance that Zuma could resolve.

Can the unscripted Zuma rise to the occasion and lead?