The Daily Vox spoke to political analyst Ebrahim Fakir, the director of programmes at the public policy institute ASRI, on the position newly elected ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa, faces in balancing his commitment to rooting out
1. What do you believe are the immediate priorities for Ramaphosa as president of the ANC?
Firstly, Ramaphosa has to deal with is the false dichotomy that any effort to deal with people who are perceived to be corrupt – by taking disciplinary action or launching commissions of inquiry – will undermine unity. The pressure here is that outsiders are watching whether he can be taken at his word, so that he doesnâ€
The second is dealing with the conundrum of whether he can do these things while risking undermining unity and the possible fracture of the ANC, but also risking the position of stability he governs under. So forget any question of split within the ANC, thereâ€
The third is dealing with the commitment by government to fund the numerous commitments that have been made over the last few years, including the usual budget, under a revenue shortfall. He has to do this while the revenue collection agency is in shambles and the rest of public services is floundering. Education is floundering, they have no idea what to do – not only because of free higher education but also in primary education.
Fourth is that he has to restore investor confidence. Those in this sector clearly had a preference and their preference won out in the ANC elections last year in terms of the person they backed – but their preference has not won out in terms of policy. They got their person, but not their policies.
The fifth challenge he faces is stamping down his authority as president of the ANC. He has to get the top six on his side. Heâ€
He has to think about what order he prioritises all these issues, because everything is mess. Thereâ€
2. Do you think itâ€
If you were the president of the ANC today, would you come out and say you want uBaba gone? Given the condition that exists for him – youâ€
These are the biggest concerns about whether we can take this man at his word on rehabilitation. So weâ€
3. What do you think are the best possible routes for Ramaphosa to address the problems both inside the ANC and in the state?
We have misplaced hopes, Cyril is not going to be able to do anything meaningfully, because heâ€
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
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