on our annual subscription.
Offer valid from 23 Nov – 30 Nov 2020.

Make Ramaphosa the CEO of SA Inc

Max du Preez’s ideal temporary solution relegates Zuma to chairman.

Poor Jacob Zuma. Even when he does something right he gets crucified. But don’t feel too sorry for him.

The prospect of massive job losses in the mining sector, the deteriorating value of the rand, the energy crisis and almost daily reports of the collapse of State-owned enterprises have led to an unprecedented sense of pessimism across South Africa in recent weeks.

The national mood became so dark that one expected the government leadership to stand up and say something to the nation. Which was exactly what Zuma did this week with his unusual ‘update’ on his State of the Nation address.

Yes, this kind of intervention should have taken place in Parliament, but we can’t blame Zuma for doing it at a press conference. If he had gone to Parliament he would simply have been shouted down by the EFF, interrupted endlessly and asked to “pay back the money”.

There wasn’t a lot wrong with what Zuma said in his progress report. He was correct to remark that our crisis wasn’t unique in the world. Of course he had to focus on the positive without denying the negative. As head of state he had to give us some hope that the slippery slope we’re on is actually not as steep or slippery as most South Africans seem to think.

Sadly, Zuma’s progress report intervention was a failure. If anything, it made many of us even more depressed.

I was looking for signs that he had a grip on the scope and nature of our problems; that he had at least some understanding of the nature of our economic woes and possible ways out.

There were no such signs. He read his statement haltingly in a manner that suggests he had no hand in writing it. His eyes followed word after word strung together in sentences and his mouth mechanically formed those words.

I found myself wondering who was responsible for the content of the statement he was reading. Was it the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Trade and Industry, the Minister of Economic Development or some ‘inter-ministerial committee’? Did the second-in-command have a say in it?

Well, on Wednesday we did hear from Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament. The difference could not have been greater.

Apart from deftly warding off fierce attacks from the opposition, Ramaphosa spoke fluently and with authority on government’s decision to lessen the impact of new visa regulations on tourism and on the Chinese model of managing State-owned enterprises (Watch this space!).

This man’s considerable talents are wasted right now. He could be of so much more value to the ANC and the country.

The reality is that Zuma is the boss in the ANC. He is entrenched in all structures. His Zulu-speaking constituency is indispensable to the party. He is a master party manipulator. He’s not going anywhere – at least not until the ANC’s elective conference in mid-2017, perhaps right up to 2019 if he gets his way.

So how does the ANC keep him as Number One and still make full use of Ramaphosa?

Just a slight shift, I would suggest. Allow both men to focus on what they’re really good at.

Zuma should become more of a ceremonial president: a figurehead, a father figure, with Ramaphosa becoming more of a prime minister. No need to change the Constitution. This should simply be an arrangement, like Nelson Mandela had with his ‘prime minister’, Thabo Mbeki. That arrangement worked very well, I would say. Similar arrangements in other democracies have also worked.

Some may argue that we already have such an arrangement. Sure, when Zuma was very sick during the middle months of last year Ramaphosa did act as the de facto head of the executive, and few ordinary citizens noticed.

It is also true that Ramaphosa has been given a multitude of tasks, such as making peace in South Sudan and Lesotho, overseeing efforts to ameliorate the energy crisis and saving State-owned enterprises – a bit of a presidential dogsbody, in fact, but no clear mandate to play a leading role in the executive.

Chapter 90 of the Constitution states: “The Deputy President must assist the President in the execution of the functions of government.” Indeed. We just need him to have a little more power in doing that.

We need Ramaphosa to be a CEO working with the president or chairman of SA Inc.

But this is pure fantasy. There are too many in the ANC, including Zuma, who are scared of Ramaphosa building up too much of a power base. There are too many cabinet ministers, especially people like Blade Nzimande, Ebrahim Patel, Rob Davies and Jeff Radebe, who I suspect would hate to answer to Ramaphosa.

Let’s not forget that the battle for Zuma’s successor is now in full swing, especially after the Women’s League indicated that they want a woman (read: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma) rather than the natural candidate, the deputy president, to succeed Zuma.

Dream on, business people.


Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in to comment.


pie in the sky stuff yet again. when someone starts talking REAL scenarios will be the time to take notice – ie when load shedding last weeks not hours when the masses take to the streets, when army and police force go on strike because they haven’t been paid. till then pay no attention

I was half way through this article when I was interrupted by a leprechaun riding past on a unicorn, just think this is such a fantasy filled idea that it really isn’t even worth completely reading the article, pigs will fly the day Zuma gives up the reigns half way through his term….its a pity but the truth

There is still soon much to steal!

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Dream Big’ being bandied about, but good old Max here, takes it to an unprecedented, whole new level.

Max, get help for your sleep-working.
But, whilst you’re still in La-La Land, please tell Father Christmas I’d like a Ferrari as my Christmas present.

The only thing funnier that the article itself is that hilarious picture.

Poor Max … desperately looking for some silver lining in the storm clouds heading our way.

I am reminded once again, while reading this write-up, of how complacent we have become as a society and a people.
So we have as a “leader” and a “father figure” an inefficient, ineffective, unconnected, lost, greedy, reckless, incompetent individual that has appointed to office and responsibility his sycophants and yes-men (and yes-women). He has through his actions, and inactions, firmly entrenched a typical post-colonial African culture of nepotism, fraud, dishonesty, value-degrading public service, corruption and lawlessness.
He has not addressed any of the issues facing the economy, our society, or our world position.

The answer in apparently? Get another person in to do the actual job.
So, like many of our public service offices and parastatal institutions we should pay 2 or 3 people to do 1 person’s job? Get out.

By that definition we should keep employing people in the private sector even if they are grossly incompetent and/or corrupt. Get out.
What should happen is that the fool should be impeached.
What will happen, as is the African way, is that this will continue on the rickety wheels until the whole apple cart falls over eventually.
Rules and laws in Africa are followed when there is direct and terrible response to the individual(s) when not following said rules and laws. Otherwise they are ignored – the simplest example being red traffic lights on our roads. South Africans more and more do not stop at the red light, or drives through, or just simply eases into traffic because why not? No one is going to punish me, no one is going to stop me.
Zuma is driving SA and his own agenda through every red light, because he knows no one is going to stop him.
The sad fact is as long as tribalism rules, the chief can do what he wants. And tribalism will rule Africa for ever.
And if the cart falls over, your mate Cyril will be on the first private jet out of here by the way.

People running Ponzi schemes get arrested and prosecuted so do those that line their pockets from pension funds or plain and simple just steal other peoples money. What’s the difference here? This buffoon and his corrupt cronies have done it to the country, is that not treason in any mans book. Sentence? death by hanging.
By the way I bet you he dropped the golf ball in the picture too.

Zuma is already a father figure. Last count was 19 or 20 probably more. As for a figurehead, rather a shower-head, potato-head or butter-nut.

Anybody who thinks Zuma will go at the end of his term is living in cloud cuckoo land!

End of comments.





Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company: