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Ramaphosa powerless to stem SA unrest, study finds

With the number of protests staged annually in the country having doubled to more than 1 000 since Ramaphosa took office in early 2018.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa lacks the authority within the ruling African National Congress to contain growing civil unrest as its competing factions vie for influence, positions, state contracts and dwindling resources, a new study has found.

The number of protests staged annually in the country has doubled to more than 1 000 since Ramaphosa took office in early 2018, two months after he secured the leadership of the ANC by a razor-thin margin, according to the study by the Institute for Security Studies and the Government and Public Policy think tank.

Violence reached a pinnacle in July last year, when former president Jacob Zuma’s arrest on contempt of court charges triggered rioting that claimed 354 lives.

The increase in instability suggests Ramaphosa doesn’t wield as much control over the ANC as Zuma did, and is unable or unprepared to use violence and patronage to the same extent to enforce his authority, according to Ivor Chipkin, Jelena Vidojević, Laurence Rau and Daniel Saksenberg, who authored the study.

Read:
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South Africa bleeds jobs as riots take toll on commercial hubs

The party’s slipping stranglehold over South African politics has also deprived it of the means to dispense state resources – the ANC yielded control of several key towns to the opposition in last year’s municipal elections as its share of the vote slipped to below 50% for the first time since it took power in 1994.

“South Africa is likely to have entered a phase of ongoing, violent instability.” The ANC “has fewer resources for patronage politics,” said the authors, who also attributed the unrest to worsening unemployment, poverty and inequality.

Competition for municipal councilor posts in towns where few other jobs are available has frequently degenerated into violence, while scores of ANC officials have been gunned down in intra-party disputes, especially in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province and northeastern Mpumalanga region.

Read: Police and intelligence services failed to foresee, disrupt July riots, report says

The ANC is due to hold another internal vote in December, when Ramaphosa is widely expected to seek another five-year term as leader.

That also doesn’t bode well for restoring stability, with the study identifying a correlation between its staging of elections and periods of intense protests.

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The so-called service delivery protests are a form of “palace revolution” where opportunists in an opportunistic socialist political party use intimidation, violence, and destruction to maneuver for positions, while they hold the entire nation at ransom in the process.

The socialist ethos of unaccountability and exploitation enables the most unscrupulous individuals in a community, who have zero skills and are of low intellect, to use destruction and exploitation to qualify as ward councilors or parliamentarians. Their organization motivates them to monetize the only skill they do have, the ability to start a fire, to get into a salaried position. They become ward councilors to serve the community whose school, library, and sanitation plant they have burnt down the previous day.

Political systems enable and reward specific characteristics and behavior patterns. Where capitalism allows the most intelligent individuals to rise to the top, socialism selects for the lowest cognitive ability in the community. People of average cognitive ability are able to add value and find employment on their own. The honest person with sound morals refuses to do what needs to be done to rise to the top in a socialist organization. Honest and intelligent people are intimidated, pushed aside, and shot, while unscrupulous and stupid individuals are protected, supported, and promoted to higher positions until they eventually end up in Luthuli House.

Capitalism rewards individuals for adding value to society. Socialism rewards cadres for destroying the shared resources of the nation. The process of redistribution consumes the productive assets of the nation and supports the patronage networks on which the entire system depends. Capitalism creates jobs. Socialism destroys jobs. Having the highest unemployment numbers in the world proves that South Africa is the most socialist nation on earth today.

The economy and the quality of service delivery display the attitude of the average voter. The rating agencies gave it a junk rating.

And there he is, a mediator pretender with Putin, fancy the irony!

CR, stay in your lane Mate, the fast lane is not for you until you have sorted your lane out, which is not looking promising!!!

End of comments.

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