The local government election was expected to be a huge benchmark for a political and economic turnaround for the rainbow nation after series of downturn experienced over the years.
However, the reverse seems to have been the case as more critical issues have continued to rise. The ruling ANC is shattered by its massive loss in the election, president Zuma remains glued to his seat as the president despite huge cry for his resignation, and just recently, the economy is about to be shattered following finance minister Pravin Gordhan’s arrest.
No doubt the country has experienced lots of power-changing-hands recently with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) losing in important metros like Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape, to its strongest opposition, the Democratic Alliance, DA.
This major power shifts, though seen as a victory for citizens who seem tired of the political terrain of the ANC, is a huge shut out for the ANC. A writer said this means the window of opportunity to manipulate the levers of the state and drain resources could be limited.
ANC And The Bid To Have Zuma Removed
The ANC saw glaring at its face the possibility of its final crash if it fails re-strategize and listens to people’s call to remove President Zuma from office.
The first move was by the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) last week, to call for an early ANC national conference to reshuffle the leadership deck. They proposed there should be no contest for positions, there should be a slate of leaders agreed to beforehand, and also a reduction of the size of the ANC. But the party shied away from accepting that its leader, Zuma, could affect the possibility of their winning in 2019.
At a media briefing on Tuesday, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the idea of an early conference was “not a bad idea” as long as the intention was to unite the organization.
“We can’t go to a conference because we have done badly and we go fight it out there, smash each other in conference, blood on the floor and we come out of that conference more divided.”
On plans to oust Zuma, Mantashe said: “You can’t separate the president of an organization from his organization. So any negative narrative around the president will actually hurt the organization. We acknowledge that.”
What gives more assurance about Zuma’s stay as the president, is the recent decision by the state cabinet that he takes a final decision on any actions taken by the inter-ministerial committee chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa or the Treasury on the state-owned companies.
A writer in Daily Marvick said the new oversight body now provides Zuma with a mechanism to control all interventions from now on.
Gordhan Arrest And the SA economy
Added to the state of a quagmire is the announcement of the arrest of the finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, who is popularly seen as the major determiner for the growth of the economy.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and former SARS officials Ivan Pillay, Johann van Loggerenberg and Pete Richer, have been asked to present themselves to the Hawks headquarters in Pretoria in a case linked to the operation of a special investigating unit at SARS, established when Gordhan was the commissioner of the revenue service.
A writer said though the Hawks are still scrambling for a legal basis to charge Gordhan, the motive behind the investigation appears to be political. The intention appears to be to shove Gordhan out of the way so that the Treasury can be commandeered by politically connected individuals.
“It was the same agenda that motivated the disastrous removal of Nhlanhla Nene from the finance ministry in December, sending the economy into a tailspin.”
Not only is the Hawks investigating the finance minister, reports have it that SARS has appointed accounting firm Grant Thornton to conduct a forensic investigation into IT contracts concluded while Gordhan was at the revenue service.
Gordhan’s arrest is said to have negatively affected the Rand as it plunged as much as 2% to 13.9816 per dollar, the weakest level since August 3, after trading as much as 1.1% stronger earlier. The currency was 1.4% weaker at 6.15pm, the worst performance out of 31 major and developing-nation currencies.
All these happenings present the country in a state of uncertainty as citizens are wary of what the future has for them in the country.