End of President Zuma not the end of policy uncertainties

By Bernard PeterKwofie

Former South African President, Jacob Zuma an African National Congress(ANC) loyal member since 1958 has humbly resigned. This was swiftly announced to avoid the Vote of no Confidence and at a time when the economic indicators looks bleak, including domestic growth prospect declining and the Reserve Bank cutting its benchmark interest rate for the first time in five years, by 25 basis points to 6.75 percent in an effort to avoid a recession.

As if that’s not enough, political instability also reduced confidence in investors even though that has a minimal effect and a number of parceled scandals and corruption allegations were presented against the former President of South Africa by his own party, the ANC.

Even though many are in ecstasy of his resignation, I do not see that as means of reshaping and redefining the economic landscape of South Africa. There’s more to do than what we think could be done to reverse the narrative. Individuals don’t create poverty but a group.

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The leader (head) has resigned but the group that worked with him to have committed the alleged siphon the state’s fiat monies are still in governance. What we must understand is that fact that, in politics when the head or leader is killed, it doesn’t guarantee victory to solving the problem unlike that of wars were victory is assured.

We have also not change government but the personality. The same ANC is ruling with same group that might have helped Zuma to commit those political and economic immoralities. As I always do say; change of government is not a change of system and consciousness but in this scenario, we have not changed government and structures but only the personality that seem as good for those who believes personality termination is the answer.

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The same policies of the ANC are in place and only a minimal change of little or no impact could be made to revitalize the economy. A very good example is the National Development plan blueprint designed to eradicate poverty and minimize inequality which was introduced as South Africa’s long-term socio-economic development roadmap. The policy was adopted in 2013 as the cornerstone for a future economic and socio-economic development strategy for the country.

The policy is being tested to achieve its intent and the new ANC leader Ramaphosa may equally face similar challenges or more unpredictable perilous challenges more than ever to execute same policies. A recent policy project by the ousted President is the Westgate social housing project which is expected to provide social housing to accommodating 4000 beneficiaries. Other “pendulumic” economic and social policies are still in the hands of the same government but with only one new leadership personality.

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South Africa is still never a wasteful Nation in the Southern Africa sub-region. Its economy is still resilient to stand the test of time. In July 2017, Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), an emerging market index tipped South Africa to be among the top performer of global emerging markets. Its asset management grew by 5.9 percent compared to 2.9 percent from emerging markets as a whole. Again, South African shares are doing very well; the iShares MSCI South Africa exchange traded fund has returned 9.74 percent over 1 year and a sign of good market capitalization.

The writer is associated with the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI)


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