Zuma Must Realize His Refusal To Leave Office Hurts Our Economy


Following rating agencies comments on the fate of  South African economy, more calls on the President, Jacob Zuma to consider resigning for the benefit of the nation’s economy, have emerged.

Standard and Poor’s noted in its recent rating of the SA economy, that economic fall outs and the backlash of the rand is affected by the political uncertainties and crackdown in the country.

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The Global Ratings held the country’s foreign currency sovereign credit rating at BBB, on Friday, said SA narrowly escaped a potentially catastrophic credit downgrade to junk though general government debt set to increase by an average of 4.9% of “GDP over 2016-2018 awhile the proportion of rand in global foreign exchange turnover also declined to below 1% on average over the past three years. 

“We also believe political events have distracted from growth-enhancing reforms, while low GDP growth continues to affect South Africa’s economic and fiscal performance and overall debt stock,” the agency, S&P said. 

Reacting to this, Ongama Mtimka, a Lecturer and PhD Candidate, Department of Political & Conflict Studies, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, said Zuma must do the right thing to rescue the country’s economy.

Mtimka said the economy is the weakest link in the present situation with Zuma’s choice to  purge ministers who were behind this week’s bid at the NEC to ask him to step down, becoming the  country’s first real danger

These reportedly include Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, his deputy Mcebisi Jonas, tourism minister Derek Hanekom and public works minister Thulas Nxesi.

If Zuma wrests control of the National Treasury, and other ministries key to the economy, fiscal policy recklessness is expected to become the order of the day, he said.

“In South Africa, executive authority to reshuffle the cabinet is vested in the president. As such, the president may act unilaterally without consulting his party, although the convention has been that the president first discusses cabinet positions with the ANC’s top leaders.

“Zuma has acted unilaterally before. His decision a year ago to fire Nhlanlha Nene as finance minister and replace him with someone who was virtually unknown shocked everyone including colleagues in the ANC. The decision, dubbed Nenegate, sent markets into a tailspin and Zuma was forced to backtrack” he aid

He, therefore, called on the SA citizens to safeguard the continuity of democratic principles as  politicians have proved again and again that the future and stability of the country cannot be left entirely to them.

As the saying goes in isiXhosa, Mtimka said “ikhwelo lityala” (“hearing the battle cry and remaining unresponsive is tantamount to treason”)!

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South Africans should not legitimize a system of “neopatrimonialism” where economic gains are linked to kinship or close relationships with rulers. It’s time for society-wide renewal, he concluded saying.