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Now dancing with big boys, Dr Ramphele!

Steve Meintjes, a senior analyst at the Johannesburg-based Imara SP Reid, said the launch of the party was good because it would broaden democratic debate in the country.

“But at this stage it will take a long time before making any meaningful impact on the economy,” Meintjes told Ventures Africa. “If it gains traction, however, the new party will make investors sit up and take note.”

On Monday, Ramphele announced the formation of a “party political platform” whose first order of business would be to call for reform of South Africa’s electoral system.

Rumours have been endemic for weeks that the activist and doctor — a former MD of the World Bank — would enter the country’s political space through forming her own political party.

According to BD Live, she delivered a hard-hitting speech on how the dream of a democratic South Africa had been derailed by poor governance, corruption, nepotism, poverty and powerlessness.

“Our country is at risk because self-interest has become the driver of many of those in positions of authority who should be focused on serving the public,” BD Live quoted her as saying.

Dawie Roodt, a senior economist at Efficient Group, also told Ventures Africa that the launch of the party was going to improve international perceptions of this country to international investors.

“I think investors are going to come out and state their happiness around the formation of the new party,” Roodt said.

Meanwhile, Cosatu is not fazed by the launch of new party.

Spokesperson for the organization Patrick Craven said:” COSATU sees no future in this party. As with any new party we get the inevitable political demagoguery – “We are here to invite people of my generation to rekindle the South Africa of our dreams. We are here to invite people of my sons’ generation to experience for themselves the thrill of living in an age of excitement and possibility. We are here to mobilize to build a world-beating 21st century democracy.”

How seriously can we take someone who has just stepped down as head of a big, ruthless exploitative mine employer when she talks of our “legacy of the exclusionary economic and political systems that continue to characterise the primary sectors of mining and agriculture” which “undermines our present and future economic prospects?”

He continued:” Her economic policies are totally indistinguishable from those neoliberal views of the Democratic Alliance, who want to free the market economy so that it can exploit the workers more ruthlessly and increase the profits of big business.”

“Are the World Bank and companies like Gold Fields not perfect symbols of those “exclusionary economic and political systems” she now condemns? Why did she not condemn such systems when she was working for them?

When she declares that the “greatness is within our grasp if only we can reach out across divisions and self-interests and put the country first”, whose interests does she think must be sacrificed in the national interest?”

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