On 14 February, South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma finally stepped down following a recall by the African National Congress. The Daily Vox asked young Durbanites what they thought of the new president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Samkelo Memela, 20, student, Clermont
The country’s economy is currently staggering and we need someone who is into business to help us get through this tough period. I hope that Ramaphosa will come with solutions for us. As students, we need financial solutions and we need someone who has a resolution to the issue of unemployment. I believe that with his history of being in business, he will be able to get us out of issues such as this one. Also, Zuma has been linked to many allegations of corruption which I believe won’t be the case with Ramaphosa.
Zama Makholwa, 19, student, Pinetown
I’m excited but scared all at once. Ramaphosa is a businessman who is knowledgeable but in most cases, business-minded people can be sellouts. But it’s good to know that someone will be taking over and I trust him to boost the country’s economy. I just wish he would address the issue of unemployment and education as soon as he takes over. We need to give him a chance to prove himself.
Simphiwe Qwabe, 23, unemployed, Durban
I’m not concerned much about who leads the nation but whoever it is, it must be someone who has the country’s best interest at heart. Zuma had his chance and did what he could. Now it’s someone else’s chance to prove themselves and put our country on the map. We need someone with good intentions and I believe that it’s time for change. We are grateful to President Zuma but now it’s time for Ramaphosa to prove himself to the people.
Nikita Rambachan, 17, student, Marianhill
I believe that there are good things that President Zuma achieved during his term but now we have to give Ramaphosa a chance. The good thing about Ramaphosa is that he has businesses which makes him a better candidate. I believe that he has a better chance to turn the country around in terms of our economy; he can create a better contribution towards it. As a businessman who is knowledgeable, he can introduce new businesses and that will create opportunities.
Sthembiso Khuzwayo, 20, student, Durban
I trust Ramaphosa to do a sterling job for the sake of this country’s future. Zuma had his chance to prove himself and now it’s time to step aside and let others prove themselves. We are a promising country that only needs good leadership, not someone who will only care about themselves and loot the state’s resources. Now we can only wait and watch if Ramaphosa will bring any change.
Voxes have been edited for brevity and clarity.