South Africa’s president faces daunting challenges

South Africa’s president faces daunting challenges

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JOHANNESBURG – The angry cries of miners, his party’s resistance to anti-corruption efforts, derided by the opposition as ineffective – South African President Kirill Ramafo faces serious political challenges.

According to some analysts, the 69-year-old Ramaphosa responded with a calm attitude and a serious and firm decision.

Ramaphosa’s measured leadership style is characterized by his diplomatic response to strikers who had to leave the camp to celebrate Labor Day on May 1. Ramaphosa said their anger was justified.

“Although the main complaint appeared to relate to wage negotiations in nearby mines, workers’ actions showed wider dissatisfaction,” Ramafosa wrote in a weekly letter to the nation. “This reflects the weakening of trust in their unions and federations, as well as in political leadership, including public institutions.”

He said he wanted workers to “appreciate the concerns of union leaders and the government and understand the challenges they face.”

Political economist Milani Mkhabela said he was not surprised that Ramafosa was greeted with hostility by workers, as many of his conditions worsened two years after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago.

“The situation of the workers, especially the miners, has worsened as the mines generate good profits but are not filtered out by the workers,” Mkhabela said. He said.

Ramaphosa’s gossip and outbursts underscored the difficulties in his attempt to re-elect himself as president of the ruling African National Congress at his national conference scheduled for December.

Ramafosa is expected to face stiff competition from the powerful ANC faction that has joined former president Jacob Zuma.

The race for the leadership of the party is crucial because in the event of defeat Ramafo could be forced to resign as president of the country; this sets a precedent for the removal of two previous presidents – Jacob Zuma and Tabo Mbek – after losing the leadership of the party.

Ramafosa was put under pressure by a recent report from a judicial commission that investigated Zuma’s corruption between 2009 and 2018. The report’s disastrous findings, which emerged after years of negotiations and investigations, point to Zuma and other ANC officials. like a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal that has severely damaged the South African economy.

Ramafosa has pledged to eradicate corruption and many of his supporters want to bring criminal charges against Zuma and others. But the matter is very sad because Zuma has loud and influential supporters.

South Africa’s high unemployment rate, over 35% in the last quarter of 2021, made things even more difficult for Ramamofosa. South Africa’s stagnant economy is struggling to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 2 million jobs have been lost due to an epidemic in South Africa, as the country has imposed one of the toughest lockdown restrictions in the world, including a ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes.

But Mkhabela said Ramafo should not yet be considered in his quest to continue as the leader of the ANC.

“Despite Sunday’s event, it still has a lot of influence and support, even at COSATU (South African Trade Union Congress),” Mkhabela said. He said. “He still maintains strong support in the alliance.”

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Source: Washington Post