Disillusioned SAs speak: Perhaps Ramaphosa must fall?

Written on 02/10/2021
Claire Badenhorst

PPE corruption, a butchered economy, and a shoddy vaccine rollout strategy has SAs asking: can Ramaphosa lead us out of this mess?

It must be said; the past year has been abominable. The globe has been hit by one of the worst contagions in history and the virus has done a commendable job of exposing some really rotten apples in South Africa. Unfortunately, it has also made us question our leader – President Cyril Ramaphosa.

A ship’s captain is in charge of ensuring the safe and efficient passage of his vessel. He must navigate said vessel according to weather conditions, good or bad, so that the ship and its cargo can reach its final destination. According to maritime tradition, if a ship is sinking, the captain must save every passenger on board before he can rescue himself.

Some would argue that South Africa is a sinking ship and as such, Ramaphosa is taking the flack. PPE corruption, an illicit tobacco trade boom, a butchered economy, a limping hospitality industry, a SOE in self-imposed darkness, and a shoddy vaccine rollout strategy are just the tip of a very large iceberg. It’s issues like these that are causing South Africans to question Ramaphosa’s ability to lead the ANC and the country.

“In the South African context ‘fast’ and ‘vaccine deployment’ can’t be used in the same sentence,” says 

“The only thing Ramaphosa and his capitalism-dripping commie-cadres have perfected, is the Art of Incompetence. Deflection remains a big fail,” writes

Increasingly, comrade Cyril is behaving like a puppet on an ideological string. Who and where is the puppet master?”

Is Ramaphosa simply doing as he is told?

Read also: Wineries crushed by bans will take years to recover

In a series of unpopular ANC decisions, three alcohol bans left over 160,000 people without jobs and more than R7bn in revenue was lost from this industry alone.

More recently, Ramaphosa spoke out at the virtual World Economic Forum, urging rich nations to stop hoarding vaccines. His thoughts on ‘vaccine nationalism’ weren’t well received by South Africans, who believe the ANC only had itself to blame.

Cyril vaccine hoarding facebook comment

When it was announced that a R200bn loan programme – one of Ramaphosa’s plans to shore up a South African economy ravaged by Covid-19 – may not even reach 10% of its target, community members were less than surprised.

Ramaphosa Facebook comment

Ramaphosa Facebook comment

Ramaphosa Facebook comment

Read also: Angry SAs speak: Quit the vaccine blame game, Mr President

On 5 February, head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), Advocate Andy Mothibi, gave the media a chilling overview of the outcome of investigations into allegations on Covid-19 PPE corruption. He explained that a total of 2,556 PPE contracts (to the value of R13.3bn) were under investigation.

“It is worth emphasising that the SIU investigations have revealed a flagrant and wanton disregard of the applicable law, policies and procedures. My observation is that the flagrant and wanton disregard is underpinned by insatiable pursuit of self-enrichment. That cannot go unpunished. We therefore have to ensure that the responsible officials and private sector parties identified should be harshly punished and clear message be sent out to the would be maladninstrators and the corrupt that action will be taken against them,” he said.

“It is disheartening to see state officials in all spheres of government, who have been called to serve the people of South Africa being implicated in unlawful and illegal activities in procurement processes that are meant to benefit the public with corrupt intent to unduly benefit themselves and their friends and or relatives to the prejudice of the state and of the public. If corruption is not tackled by all in society, it has a potential to weaken State’s capacity to deliver basic services like water, electricity, roads, housing, healthcare and education. I appeal to public servants and those in position of power and responsibility to serve the people of South Africa with integrity and pride.”

With the State of the Nation Address coming up on 11 February, disillusioned South Africans are also wondering what the president could possibly have to say.

For South Africans, could it be reaching a point of, ‘Ramaphosa must fall’?

Add your voice to the discussion by commenting below.

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