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‘The days of messing up are over’

Sona disappoints, with the president adding to SA’s trust deficit.
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers Sona 2021 in Parliament. Image: GCIS

“The days of messing up are over.”

This was one of the very few promises a tired-looking President Cyril Ramaphosa made during his State of the Nation (Sona) address in Parliament on Thursday.

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Read/Watch: President delivers the State of the Nation Address

He made this promise off the cuff, as it does not appear in the written speech distributed to the media. He made it in reference to the dysfunctional state of many rural municipalities and promised that only competent people would be appointed – a promise difficult to keep.

Unfortunately, this promise was the only acknowledgement of government’s significant failure in recent years, especially since Covid-19 hit our beautiful country.

I did not expect an inspirational speech, but his message would have sounded more sincere if he had taken at least some responsibility. He could have apologised for the corrupt, unethical and treasonous conduct of many officials – some even in his own office – during one of the darkest periods since the dawn of democracy. As the head of state, he should have taken responsibility.

Any sign of emotion from the president would have countered many South Africans’ emotional anger. Sadly, there was none.

His address was artificial with the sole goal of saving face. It lacked believability.


Many, I included, hoped Ramaphosa would announce some more stringent action to curb corruption. Apart from a new corruption council, he merely echoed his earlier statements that law enforcement agencies would be strengthened. He may underestimate the colossal impact the personal protective equipment-related corruption (and the recent revelations at the Zondo commission) have had on many South Africans’ psyche. It is not only the dishonesty and the looting of taxpayers’ money which caused the anger.

It is also the realisation that these officials, who are corrupt to the core, are also in charge of critical governance decision-making and functions – such as the procurement of vaccines.

It is this reality that will cause a lot more long-term damage to the economy than the pandemic. Covid-19 and the lockdown are not the main reasons for the current economic crisis. Corruption is. The economy was already in dire straits when the virus hit; Covid-19 merely fast-tracked the implosion of an already careworn economy.


Ramaphosa also missed an opportunity to talk about the deteriorating trust deficit in the country. This is a structural problem with its roots in the Zuma decade and one which has sent business-, investor- and consumer confidence to their lowest levels in decades. The stage was set for this even before Covid-19 hit our shores. An economy just cannot flourish if the main stakeholders do not trust each other.

In some strange way, Covid-19 could have been a blessing in disguise and offered South Africans an opportunity to unite against a common enemy. South Africans can work together if they share a common goal, such as the 2010 World Cup’s successful hosting. Covid was the ideal opportunity for all stakeholders to work together and rebuild trust and tolerance.

Sadly, Ramaphosa and his fellow ANC leaders allowed this opportunity to be stolen.

But not all was negative. Two announcements stood out

The first was that the local government election is on track to take place this year. This could be the most decisive election in South Africa’s history since 1994, as it will probably see the ANC losing even more ground in local governments.

The second is Ramaphosa’s announcement that there will be an amendment to regulations governing the private generation of electricity. Currently, anyone who wants to generate more than 1MW of electricity needs a licence, and it is virtually impossible to get one. There have been calls (from among others Eskom CEO André de Ruyter) to increase the threshold to 50MW, and if government concurs, it will be a game-changer.

Hopefully, the regulation is changed sooner rather than later. In fact, there is no reason why it should be later.

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Oh Cyril, dear Cyril, Oh dear, Cyril

Your ANC ship with all your comrades on board have set course into the deep deep blue Ocean, a course to self destruction, tagging us, the Tax payers along without a qualm in the world

Not you, your faction or even Tito can turn it around to fare back into known waters. Your arrogance has diminished your wisdom

Our country’s saving grace will be your party’s self destruction

Lets hope and pray this happens sooner than later so that you may be punished at the polls for stealing entire GDP’s in the last decade, perhaps two, at the expense of a decent nation that you have reduced to paupers

Nice sentiment, but you are naive to think anyone is going to punish the ANC at the polls any time soon. The majority know that the ANC is catastrophically corrupt and the EFF is too extreme in its policies. But here is the clincher – this has been said to me several times… The masses would rather have the country burn to ashes by their own people than ever hand any inkling of power back to “whites”. And unfortunately the only competent party (being the DA) is perceived as “White”.

Secondly, many hundreds of thousands of people owe their luxury existence to the ANC being in power. They know that any change in administration would put them out on the street. The ANC has effectively bought votes by cadre deployment.

No one is going to punish the ANC for anything at the polls.

The president, in essence, implies that the days of really messing up HAVE JUST STARTED.

(then why not for a change appoint people based on skill set / ability / track record alone. No wonder ‘messing up’ is part of the SA landscape..)

As Ace Magashule uttered in the media re corruption allegations, “…the struggle continues”.
Translated into English: “the messing up continues”!

Taking no responsibility or accountability for our country’s demise on behalf of him or the ANC led Government, raises the age old question:

So who’s actually in charge?

You have confirmed that your strings are being pulled!

One begs the question:

By whom?

When you are as corrupt, arrogant and stupid as these ANC comrades. Emotions of remorse are not traits that such individuals will possess!

Has anybody still expected something else from the failed leader of a failed , predominantly criminal cartel masquerading as a government ?

and constantly reverting back to apartheid will also not solve the mess we are all in!

The President never fails to disappoint. Give him credit for that, at least.

Almost 25 years later ANC promises stretch anyone’s credibility. What is even harder is believing that Cyril Ramaphosa does not know of this common knowledge of corruption – problems with tenders, with deployees, with SOEs, with municipalities, and service delivery and so on. If, there is one hype I am happy I never fell for, it is joining any political party, ANC included. All, I needed to be was South African and to be treated as such with the same dignity and respect accorded any other South African. I know the problems with deployments first hand from several personal experiences. The stories are long to list here, but from my experience, in the early 1990s, to now, I would say that the problems have accelerated and worsened not gone away. (for instance, after completing my four year degree, and working for several years, I returned to my township to become to and interviewed for Town Superintendent, though deemed qualified and having fulfilled all requirements, I was passed for an ANC guy, who so happened to have failed at the same prestigious university in his first year. He so happened to be related to two people on the panel who were convincing the other panelists that I was not even a South African!!! Just so that they can have their man in there, ‘to eat’. Unfortunately these incompetent and unqualified persons are not only messing up, they are messing up with real lives of people on a daily basis for years, costing billions and causing untold and un-quantifiable misery, and harming the nation seriously in the process.

Plenty beat, habba speed.

You all can huff and you can puff but the trajectory is locked in and the button has been pushed.

Parliament is just a charade. Has been ever since Mbeki.

As trustworthy, reliable, and genuine as anything that any African despot would be proud of.

The ANC calculus is that they have nothing to fear from any white-dominated opposition.

What are the snowflakes going to do?

Have another meltdown?? Rattle their teacups in unison??

We shake in our gumboots! /s

Everything – everything – this man does is an attempt to avoid a decision that may cause disunity or friction in his beloved movement.

Mark my words: the new national anti corruption advisory thingy will recommend a sweeping amnesty for all crooked cadres.

Hubris is the word that springs to mind. What a disappointment.

Be suspicious of all politicians.

There is nothing new left to say that hasn’t been said already about the sad state of affairs. The elephant in the room is there for all to see and it is not going to move an inch unless compelled to do so.

The solution to all this is in the hands of every taxpayer in the land and it is time to show some resolve! The citizens of Swartruggens have shown what can be done when you get the courts on your side.(See “North West Residents take matters into their own hands and get courts blessing”. Moneyweb 9 Feb.) OUTA has also done some good work in resisting E-Tolls

A general tax revolt won’t work but starting at the local government level will send a very powerful message to the government that we can’t be slowly boiled like the proverbial frog on the stove

Pres Ramaphosa is failing to sort out the constipation, infighting, and self obsessiveness in the ANC party.

He has to clean up the party before he can start to govern.

Cyril moet wakker word

The time has come for opposition parties to unite to take down the ANC. It is no longer the behemoth it once was. The strategy must be to take it down city by city, using coalitions where necessary to bring back clean governance.

Johannesburg for one is ripe for the taking and Mashaba has already indicated he is willing to align with other parties to wrest control from the ANC. Not that coalition politics is ideal but it is a necessary evil.

Whatever happens, if we are to have any kind of future, we must start taking control of this country away from the ANC — town by town, city by city, province by province.

Why bother? The Great Field Marshall His Eminence Sir General Doctor Ramaphosa VC, Honorus Crux, IOU could have just tweeted about the state of our nation one single word. It begins with an ‘f’ …

Sona is just customary – its just an opportunity to use up air time.

There are bigger problems to come – like Malema, Zuma and Ace who are going to attack the notion of white monopoly capital and advocate for re- distribution of commercial wealth.

They now going after the private sector. God help us.

I’m genuinely amazed that rational people still give this process any attention any more. I realize that the media has pages and airtime to fill with commentary and analysis, thats how they earn their money, but for the long suffering tax payers of SA, why waste any time or energy on this circus. What does it say about us, when you consider: Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice, shame on me, yet here we are again, fool me for the 24th (or is that 25th time), time for a frontal lobe lobotomy ??

” The days of messing up are over!”

Does that mean the ANC Government,National, Privincial and Local are all going to resign, and emigrate ?

I’m sure all is good as long as CR did not forget the usual ‘white bashing’.

The rules at local government level need a shake-up. It is impossible to get rid of an incompetent and arrogant ward councilor in Sandton.

On a different topic, where are the do-gooders and struggle heroes now? Very silent, probably trying to secure their place on the gravy train.

In a democratic system.. can he do more than strengthen the courts, prosecutors, investigators and auditors(who were also found guilty.. what’s happening with McKinsey & Co, et al who were caught.. no sanctions from the US.. oh yes that’s for others not their companies) ?

This article is weird anything beyond this is regarded as use of state resources for political interference unless you want do what the nats did.. oh they were corrupt too.

My point is that in a mature system, you enable others to catch the bad ones. Going beyond this will have every one on this site screaming over reach and communism/solcialism/fascism etc. and from that perspective over the past 2-3yrs he has done a good job. I’m not an ANC supporter.. but I recognize the thankless job he is doing much like De Ruyter is doing at Eskom.

The Government faces an insurrection in the most serious challenge to authority and rule of law in the country’s history. According to one website ‘About 200 soldiers are being deployed to set up base outside Zuma’s homestead in northern KwaZulu-Natal, and will work in shifts’. Soldiers protecting a former President who is openly defying a Constitutional Court order. As shocking as it is sad.

If CR was looking tired, I understand. My late father always said that being the president of any country must be the most draining job in the world. I am not an ANC supporter but at least it’s not JZ delivering SONA 2021….

On a positive note : Squirrel did not use the term “comrade” once… progress

End of comments.





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