President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo: IOL

CAPE TOWN – Every President has a mandate to execute. And your role like your predecessors before you is predetermined by circumstances pre-dating your term, President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

President Nelson Mandela’s role was that of reconciliation and the forging of the identity of a new nation. And so, whenever he is measured, it will be on that basis. 

A year before the end of his presidency the world suffered under the "Asian flu" economic crisis of 1998. Thus, President Thabo Mbeki’s task was to grow the economy. And so shall he be measured. 

President Kgalema Motlanthe's role during his eight months of responsibility was to ensure a stable transition and continuity without the turbulence we have become accustomed to in other parts of the globe. 

From that mandate he delivered President Jacob Zuma to consolidate the first decade of our democracy. And so shall they be measured.

And so, your mandate is fairly written. The events that pre-dated your assumption of office had made the economy and the country unable to fulfil the promise of lifting people out of poverty. You are tasked with making the economy inclusive and expediting the educational value into all aspects of our social interaction, so that everyone can enjoy the democratic dividend. The process of evaluating your Presidency will not wait for four years. And that is the basis of my letter to you.

With such a momentous task in the early days of your administration, it has become obvious that your interventionist intuition has not only diminished, but has come to a stop. 

Unlike your intervention into Eskom, there is no such energy in resolving the issues at PetroSA, Prasa and Transnet. With appreciation of all the co-ordinated efforts by different departments for the problems at SAA, that level of focus is unique in the resolution of challenges faced by state-owned entities (SOEs). 

The battle cry has not been heralded for all the other SOEs, so I have to ask why the same approach is not adopted for the resolution of the problems of other entities? Also, it should be obvious by now that the petroleum pricing issues under the Central Energy Fund are the concern of all South Africans alike. 

Given the impact it has on the macro economy, a solution was suggested in Business Report where a call was made for Parliament to call a hearing on the matter. To this day, it is uncertain whether or not you will respond to that call.

Summed up, the root of the problem is in two forms. One is responsiveness to day-to-day developments and, second, policy misalignment. 

In the case of policy misalignment, we are not taking advantage of the opportunities of BRICS membership, and as for responsiveness, there is no mechanism to address day-to-day issues, remembering always that the government of the day should nurture the public without giving over such responsibility to the ruling party at Luthuli House.

To the extent that crime is the cheapest to commit in South Africa relative to the developing world, the ability of combining policy and day-to-day reaction would be the defining characteristic of your Presidency. 

At some point, there should be a moment to complement the country's crime combating capabilities beyond the admission that xenophobia is the defining strategy for our survival.

There are first things to do first. Importantly, as mentioned before, intervention in those areas where there is a policy gap is the first step. The second relates to the lack of responsiveness of the administration. Willingness is the most important component.

Honourable President, I’m supporting your effort to excite global investors to trust South Africa to invest billions in our country. Let us join our efforts and build the South Africa we so much love.

– BUSINESS REPORT