The government of President Jacob Zuma has over the years been criticized for playing major roles in the events that wrecked the nation’s economy.
Most of it all is the increased prices of products, mostly those products that largely affects poor citizens.
Since Zuma’s emergence as the country’s fourth president in May 2009, following his victory over Thabo Mbeki as President of the ANC on 18 December 2007, critics say the country’s economy hasn’t been doing as good as it was during the Mbeki government.
Most of the allegations leveled against the president ranges from racketeering and corruption, state capture by the influential Gupta family, and several other misbehavior.
The rising political uncertainty and concerns about corruption have taken a toll on the South African economy, resulting to a weaker economy, starting with the fall of the rand.
The rand hit an all-time low after President Zuma suddenly fired former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in December 2015 and replaced him with Desmond van Rooyen who was described as inexperienced for the job. He was later removed and replaced with the current minister Pravin Gordhan.
In fact, most South Africans believe that the country will not prosper until it roots out the corruption and impunity that marked both Zuma’s administration and the party that he represents.
The country’s economy is expected to grow this year (2016) by less than 1%, which slows the rate of population growth. Inflation is also said to have hit a seven-year high while government debt has almost doubled since Zuma took office in 2009, rising to more than 50% of gross domestic product for the first time in more than two decades.
Though Zuma cannot be blamed for the fall in commodity prices that has staggered the South Africa’s mining industry, his alleged gross mismanagement of state funds played a good role, especially for formulating and carrying out a plan to put the economy on sounder footing.
The Graph below by mybroadband, shows how the rand has weakened against the US dollar since Zuma became president.
How prices changed from 2009 to 2016
The graphic representation below shows how the price of certain products increased between 2009 and 2016, which is partly due to the weaker rand.
No doubt, South Africans have lost confident in President Zuma and the ruling ANC, but analysts are of the view that if Zuma and his party want to win back the confidence of the citizenry and credibility among nations, they should move ahead with a bill to promote financial transparency, especially on corporate ownership.