Thursday, 4 February 2016

The Battle Begins in South Africa

While the entire western world is focused on who will be the next leader of the United States, the Southern African community is now observing the long haul battle to be the next leader of the ANC. 

The two main contenders have now revealed themselves to be the current South African VP Cyril Ramaphosa and AU Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The contest will see two ANC heavyweights battle to succeed the current incumbent Jacob Zuma who has been riddled with accusations of corruption related to the building of an extravagant house in Kwazulu Natal. The question then is which one is most suited to steer SA on the right course?

It is no secret that the South African economy once viewed as an emerging economy is now facing a major rut due to mines that are not profitable and beset by problems with unions. It is no secret that since the Marikana massacre there has been increased spotlight on the role of the unions in South Africa. In addition to this the increased role of Black businessmen in the mining industry has come under the spotlight with Cyril Ramaphosa as the main face of BEE.

The Battle Begins in  South Africa
It is Ramaphosa’s business dealings that will be the most crucial part of his path to be the next ANC leader as it demonstrates a certain competence in business, but also a general uneasiness among the population about the policy of BEE. The political reality is that the much famed BEE policies framed by the ANC have not affected everyone in the same way, the well-connected politician has favoured more in the decade long affirmative action policy. With the rise of Economic Freedom Fighters electing Ramaphosa to the post will be a challenge for the party as they seek to maintain the mantle of people-centred.

The next question is whether the ANC wants to elect another Zuma to the post of ANC president. It is well known that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was married to Jacob Zuma and they have children together. Interestingly enough while Jacob Zuma is viewed as incompetent, Dlamini-Zuma is considered to quite competent. Dlamini-Zuma’s record as a Minister of Health and as Foreign Minister have displayed her competence as a state minister. However she has been out of mainstream domestic politics for some time and thus has been out of the spotlight. This may affect her chances of victory. Only time will tell but it would help her cause if her ex-husband decided to repay his debt of gratitude to her and paid her some favours.

In essence the future leader of the ANC will decide its future course. I will write on this in further detail in the future instalments. Written by Ryan "On Africa" Williams.

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