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Why Rustenburg doesn’t reveal what SA really thinks of Cyril

Ideas

Why Rustenburg doesn’t reveal what SA really thinks of Cyril

Sunday’s events do not reflect the country’s position on Ramaphosa, but a reformed electoral system would

Lucky Mathebula

The 2022 ANC succession battle has begun. The challenge to a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa is intensifying, even if there seems to be no obvious contender. What is emerging is a clear message from some within the governing alliance that Ramaphosa should not return. What these repudiations of his leadership of the ANC do not answer are the reasons he shouldn’t.

Ramaphosa represents an ANC whose drive is to rid itself of kleptocracy, oligarchy and corruption. He has modelled his leadership legacy around being uncompromising towards state capture and corruption. He has almost removed patronage and rent-seeking as normality in ANC politics. He has returned to government battered trust and reduced the chronic deficit.

What a Ramaphosa presidency seems not to have mastered is how to balance the noble intentions of his term with the established patterns of patronage that took root before he took over. Corruption and state capture survived because they became a political economy. They created value chains and parallel establishments, most of which were entrenched within the party’s mandating processes towards its elective conferences. The purchase of branches to influence outcomes has resulted in these becoming the domain of those who can afford the most delegates. ..

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