The results of the South African election are a clear indication that the public has given the ANC one final chance to redeem its soiled image and set about solving the country's mounting list of problems. As captain of the ship, the onus falls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to call the shots--and get it right.
Cyril Ramaphosa, who took the oath of office in Pretoria on 25 May, 2019, to serve his first term as the 5th elected President of South Africa, is faced with a myriad of challenges which he has to tackle head on without delay. South Africans have high expectations which they are not prepared to lower.
Ramaphosa's government is expected to implement broad-based transformative policies to plug the inequalities gaps and reduce the rising levels of poverty that exist in South Africa, especially within the majority black community.
The cry for change resonates across the country, from the impoverished and marginalised villages of Makgato and Sekgopo in Limpopo and Hlankomo in Eastern Cape; to the crime-infested Khayelitsha's Cape Flats in Cape Town and Glebelands Hostel in Durban; to the streets of downtown Bloemfontein, where unemployed youths hang out without purpose, to Kliptown, Soweto--the very home of the 1955 Freedom Charter, where the red-brick house of activist Charlotte Maxeke, sticks out like a pedestal in the midst of crowded, makeshift homes built with corrugated iron sheets and other rudimentary materials.
The inequalities in South Africa, as presented by Oxfam's 2018 report Reward Work, Not Wealth, are said to be some of the widest in the world when it comes to wealth and income distribution.
The population living in poverty has increased by 11% from 27.3m to 30.4m in 2015, a sign that the benefits of economic success have not trickled down to the ordinary people at the bottom of the pyramid.
According to Statistics South Africa, in the first quarter of 2019, unemployment peaked at 27.6%. In 1994, when the ANC took over governance from the National Party, unemployment stood at 16.9%. The economy, with a revised IMF 2019 growth rate projection of 1.2%, is in stagnation.
But it's not all doom and gloom. The ANC government has made significant progress since independence in 1994 in improving the lives of its citizens in areas such as human rights, health, education, housing, access to electricity, piped water and sanitation, reduction of crime, black empowerment and race relations.
South Africa is a very youthful country in...