FOR SOME it’s a bitter-sweet pill to swallow, but at the end the same delegates voice has been heard and Cyril Ramaphosa has been installed as the 14th new African National Congress president from 2017 to 2021.
He replaces the controversial president Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, whose term as SA Statesman ends in 2019, unless the ANC votes to have him recalled.
Bitter in that the former trades union leader and businessman Ramaphosa has been labeled a ‘capitalist’ who will only look after the interest of ‘whites’ yet the majority who voted him and his new administrative speak highly of him and regarded as a unifier, no yes-man and corruption buster, amongst others.
A lawyer by profession Ramaphosa was also instrumental in the drawing of the SA’s Constitution alongside the former Apartheid regime team lead by Pik Botha and Roelf Meyer.
Immediately after the announcement as the president, the rand improved slightly.
On Monday while votes were counted, it improved to 12.80 and upon announcement of the win, it had improved to R12.60. However, within half an hour it had weakened to R12.75.
Economic strategist at Argon Asset Management, Thabi Leoka, said the market was clearly anticipating a Ramaphosa win, given that the rand dollar exchange was at a six month low in the run up to the announcement, and so had positioned itself well.
Jesse Duarte returns to her position (deputy secretary general) as the only female on the Top Six. She has been appointed alongside uncle Gwede “Gweegz” Mantashe (national chairperson), David Mabuza (deputy president), Ace Magashule (secretary general) and Paul Mashatile as treasurer general.
To make it worse, argues Ralph Mathekga –political commentator – controversial figures such as Magashule and Mabuza had been added to the mix.
“This is just good news for the opposition,” Mathekga said.
“We have to ask ourselves who on these top six controls the levers of power in the ANC, and David Mabuza has more power than anyone else.”
Mabuza garnered 2538 votes and Ramaphosa 2440. So, this could put the president in a very precarious position, depending which side of the fence one is seated.
Ramaphosa, although he apologized to the families and the country following the death of 34 Marikana miners in 2012, will have to revisit this matter and put it to rest because it will be like this ‘big monkey on his back’.
Secondly, the controversial nuclear issue will have to be addressed. Also on to-do list include factionalism, dwindling numbers, infighting, patronage within the organization.
Meanwhile, business organisations responded positively to the new leadership of the party ruling.
But the buck begins and stops with Ramaphosa in taking the movement forward -build investor confidence both locally and internationally, improve ailing economy, improve fiscus and fight corruption to the core, amongst others.
Ramaphosa will have to somehow spearhead a quick turnaround for the ANC to recover its public image.
The Soweto born Matamela, his maiden name is married to mining mogul Patrice Motsepe’s sister Dr Tshepo Motsepe and they have four children.