Uneasy lies the head that wears the ANC crown in these fractious times

29 December 2019 - 00:00 By SUNDAY TIMES

With a national election under its belt, and a new president in Cyril Ramaphosa firmly in the saddle, SA can look ahead to a new year in its politics, but alas not with the 2020 vision we all long for in our quest for certainty in uncertain times. What were the main political lessons learnt in 2019, and how can we as a country use them to forge that better future we all claim to want?

The ANC was dragged, willing or not, into the post-state-capture era when Ramaphosa was elected to lead at the party’s Nasrec conference in December 2017. But the new president cut an uncertain and hesitant figure. He faced criticism of his policies and approaches from within the party and from the broader alliance, elements of which saw his cleanup campaign as camouflage for neoliberalism. Ramaphosa was felt to be too friendly to capitalist interests, but increasingly the dire state of SA’s economy helped to forge consensus — albeit grudging — that the policies preferred by the radical economic transformation grouping were neither practical nor affordable. Nor that desirable...

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