Analysts say 'Ramaphoria' is ANC's trump card at election
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Pretoria - ANC president Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa is not a famed crooner, like his predecessor Jacob Zuma. Neither is he celebrated on the dance floor, as the ANC faithful in yesteryear would worship Zuma's idolised nimble-footedness in dance and flexibility. Ramaphosa appears reserved in charisma classes, only joining in groupie frenzied dance ensembles after some polite nudging.
But as Ramaphosa addressed his African National Congress' final elections campaign rally on Sunday, dubbed the "Siyanqoba Rally" at the 60 000-seater Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, one political analyst believes Matamela's much needed renewal euphoria for the governing party - dubbed the "Ramaphoria" by the ANC flock - is the revolutionary party's ace on voting day.
"The president currently enjoy high popularity rates. A number of surveys concluded in the last few weeks suggest a noticeable pattern that ANC voters will vote for the ANC because of the "Ramaphoria" frenzy," Prof Rhulani Barry Hanyane - an associate professor in Public Management and Governance at the North West University - said while speaking to African News Agency.
"This factor could help the ANC to make gains at the polls. The so-called 'sympathy votes' that the ANC enjoys from the elderly and staunch ANC supporters could add value in the ANC's voter performance."
Hanyane said from the time Ramaphosa assumed the reins at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the former trade unionist has instituted clear investigations into the massive malfeasance of the previous years.
"The president has begun using state institutions such as commissions of inquiries - for example the Zondo Commission and the Nugent Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by SARS - to clean up the public sector/service. We are likely to see radical changes in the public service/sector post the 08 May 2019 national elections."
Hanyane said despite the fissures of factionalism which are fuming in Africa's oldest liberation movement, Ramaphosa continues to enjoy "a full majority support in his own party".
At the Democratic Alliance's final push campaign held in Soweto, Johannesburg on Saturday, Ramaphosa's main competitor on the ballot paper, leader of the official opposition Mmusi Maimane told thousands at the "Phetogo Rally" on Saturday that the president should not be seen as a saviour as he had been ''watching the looting'' for the past 25 years.
''What’s most offensive is that they [ANC] stole from the poor. They took money that was meant to make life liveable for our most vulnerable citizens, and stuck it in their pockets. The ANC were once the leaders in the struggle for freedom, but today they stand directly in the way of freedom for millions of South Africans," said Maimane to cheering supporters.
"They were once a movement, but today they are a monument – a mere relic of the past. They were once our liberators, but today we need to be liberated from them. That is why I’m angry."
Ramaphosa will be seeking his first presidential mandate from voting South Africans on Wednesday. He became president of Africa's economic powerhouse following the February 14, 2018 resignation of Jacob Zuma, who quit before his turbulent second term ended. Ramaphosa had been elected president of the ANC at the party's national elective conference in December 2017.