Is South Africa on the margins of collapsing?

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Photo By African Business
Photo By African Business

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa is the unluckiest president since the dawn of South Africa’s democracy in 1994, confided one ANC activist recently during a brief chat the other day.

Just less two years into the highest job in land, in March 2020 South Africa, like most nations across the globe, effected Covid-19 lockdowns, added the activist.

For sure, this global pandemic by far was unprecedented, in the last millennia or so.

More businesses collapsed, job loss went up, death rate; and a variety of other factors that negatively befell the human species during this period.

True to form, South Africa turns to get a lot of the media attention, quite a dramatic country others would say.

For-instance, South Africa recorded the highest number of Covid infections in Africa during the pandemic.

As reportedly the most unequal country on earth, South Africa, finds itself constantly on the news for mostly the wrong reasons.

The country also gets a lot of media attention for many positive activities from sports, the arts, and in other fields.

This time around, the rolling blackouts are doing just the same damage to the nation’s fabric just as witnessed during the Covid lockdowns.

Could Ramaphosa be asking himself why he took the job in the first place judging my the myriad of hurdles his presidency has encountered up until now.

The 2021 July unrest that saw more than 350 lives lost. R50 billion worth of damages to property to mention a few.

The torching of parliament and other private, public and government institutions that have come under attack right across the land, could signal a president overwhelmed by the wills of power.

Ascending to the ANC presidency, propels the leader of the governing ANC to become the president of the country, as the governing party has enjoyed landslide victories in every national election since 1994.

The Ramaphosa presidency has already been termed in certain quarters and including by some media groups as the worst administration to date.

Maybe, or maybe not, the issues at hand now should be whether South Africans can continue to place their trust into the hands of Ramaphosa and his party.

And that the anti-Ramaphosa sentiments within the ANC, are also drumming up the noise for the president’s exist from office, could very much lead into a situation were the ANC goes into next year’s national election further weakened from the factional battles that have become the everyday reality of Africa’s oldest liberation movement.

As if Ramaphosa and the ANC problems were not a lot. Then there’s the headache that faces the South Africa as it prepares to host this year’s BRICS Summit.

The bone of contention is that of whether or not Pretoria will arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin should he attend the summit, scheduled for August 2023.

The charge for Putin’s arrest is led mostly by Russia’s erstwhile enemies the Western Powers including Britain and the US, this of-course follows Russian’s invasion of Ukraine earlier in 2022.

Notably, the Russian-Ukraine Conflict has already had devastating effects of the whole economically and otherwise.

These two energy giants fighting has contributed greatly to have the rise if costs globally and the escalation of the high prices of petrol for example.

For South Africa this and ramification of great proportions when you consider the both Britain and the US are one SA’s biggest trading partners, worth hundred billions of investments annually and millions of jobs could be lost.

On the other hand, should Pretoria succumb to its Western Allies, then the ANC led South Africa will be breaking a century old relationship with Russia, much of it existed during the liberation struggle.

Not forgetting that many African countries usually side with Russian during such crises, as they also were beneficiaries of support from the USSR during anti-colonial era. And many if not all have kept close ties with Russia.

A though one indeed for Ramaphosa, which ever way you look at it.

The Putin matter has the serious potential to divide the ANC even more. In the worst case scenario it could divide the country along ideological lines.

On the international stage it could lead to further cracks in global unity and strengthening tensions between countries across ideological and economic lines, historical alliances and relations.

Although it may sound extreme and even far fetched to suggest that this global disunity and unstable environment, can create conditions of a world war, it won’t help the world not to seek to prevent such a possibility.

Few to none saw the coming of World War 1 and World War 2. Few to none saw the coming of many other conflicts and market crashes and economic disasters.

And as for South Africa, it is hard to hear some of the citizens hurt at the rolling blackouts and their pessimism on overcoming this ‘power curse’.

But again, every challenge is accompanied by an opportunity.

What could be the solution?

The solution could come from all sectors of society, locally and internationally finding one another on pressing matters affecting all of us.

Be it rolling blackout, foreign policy, service delivery and effective leadership of our nations and the world.

When those bestowed to lead are not giving the masses any reason to trust that they can turn things around and create an equal and winning society for all its people.

THANDISIZWE MGUDLWA is an award-winning journalist

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