President Cyril Ramaphosa was on a charm offensive in KZN.
He was seen in several places addressing the problems crippling the province’s economy while at the same time drumming up support for his party in next year’s elections.
He was forthright about the congestion at Richards Bay, blaming incompetence and lethargy at Transnet and the port authorities for the long delays. But admitting the cause is one thing; rectifying it another, more often, difficult thing.
But who is in charge of Transnet and the ports? Isn’t it the departments of Public Enterprises and Transport? And isn’t it ANC policy to fill all government posts and SOEs with incompetent, lazy cadres? And didn’t Ramaphosa defend the policy of cadre deployment at public institutions? Government, then, is ultimately responsible for all the chaos on our roads, rails and ports. So, Mr President, stop passing the buck.
He went on a helicopter ride over Richards Bay to view the massive backlog choking the harbour before coming to Durban for the official opening of the R200 million Nelson Mandela Passenger Cruise Terminal.
Soon after he was whisked away to the national conference of the faction-riven SA National Civics Organisation (Sanco), where he promised for the umpteenth time that Stage 6 load shedding would soon be a thing of the past. He was also optimistic that the congestion at Durban and Richards Bay would soon be resolved.
But would load shedding, the defunct rail and congested roads and ports disappear overnight? Years of neglect, mismanagement, inefficiency and corruption cannot be wiped clean with just one sweep. It would take years of good leadership, dedication and sound policies.
In his address to the conference, Ramaphosa took a jibe at doomsayers predicting the demise of the ANC, saying that despite all the country’s woes, the ANC would emerge victorious at next year’s elections. Well, it was the same old Ramaphosa again. He spoke like a politician, not like a pragmatic leader of a desperate nation crying out for help.
* Thyagaraj Markandan.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
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