Ayanda Sishi-Wigzell: The GNU will struggle in the next administration

The 7th administration announced by President Ramaphosa on Sunday night has to put aside their lust for power and control, hurry up and get to work on some of the real problems that plague us, writes Ayanda Sishi-Wigzell.

The 7th administration announced by President Ramaphosa on Sunday night has to put aside their lust for power and control, hurry up and get to work on some of the real problems that plague us, writes Ayanda Sishi-Wigzell.

Published Jul 1, 2024


Ayanda Sishi-Wigzell

Fighting over meat while there is no water.

Every day, when I wake up, I usually don’t have water. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, the water is back by midday.

While I write this, I still don’t have water, but this time at least the reason is clear: much-needed maintenance from Rand Water.

So, when my commissioning editor asked me to write about the impending cabinet announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa, I won’t lie to you, I struggled to care.

And I didn’t even vote either. “How dare you?” some of you ask, I’m sure. “This is the future of our country!” I’ve heard it all, but please allow me to point out a few things.

While the political elite squabble over the carcass of the zebra that is our cabinet and management positions in government, dealing out positions like prime cuts of meat, I read this morning that a woman was shot and killed on a Metrobus while on her way to work.

As the Democratic Alliance practises the hypocrisy of “Politics 101” in wanting cadre deployment of Directors-General while sending the ANC to court for the same thing, NPOs in Gauteng are on the verge of closing down because the Gauteng Department of Social Development has not been paid their funding.

It’s true that the cabinet of our country is of great importance, but this 7th administration has a lot more to deal with than who will get which cabinet position. So, they had better put aside their lust for power and control, hurry up and get to work on some of the real problems that plague us.

The Electorate won

In the chaos of this new GNU, we must at least be thankful that the true faces of some political parties are being revealed. Let’s start with the DA.

I can’t lie and say that I expected any kind of decisive leadership, and dare I say decency, from those leading the negotiations for the DA.

Racism scandals aside, when we look at their abysmal record of coalition government at a local level, we should all be terrified. Helen Zille needs to be ideologically flexible, accept that her party only received 21.8% of the vote, and therefore must act accordingly because we can’t allow the revolving door of mayors to happen at a national government level.

With a voter turnout of 58,64% what we can glean from the electorate is that they don’t trust a single party with an outright majority.

This means that no one political party has the right to demand positions like they have the right to speak on behalf of the electorate.

They simply don’t. They need to humble themselves and realise that it is not about them but about us, the people.

The ANC needs to remember why they have lost their majority. We all remember the tragedy that was Life Esidimeni and how that could have been avoided.

It looks like the Gauteng Province, this time headed by the PR-hungry Panyaza Lesufi, has not learned the lessons from that tragedy and loss of life, because in Gauteng, there is currently no cabinet because of the fighting for positions and power.

While the negotiations are taking place behind closed doors, one wonders if the fact that, according to Statistics South Africa, unemployment currently sits at 32,9% is truly a priority for these power-mongers.

Youth Unemployment is currently at 45,5%. Our education system is seriously lopsided.

Most young people don’t get the opportunity to study and further their education so that they can get better jobs. It is harder for women to get an education than it is for men in this country.

I wonder if these factors are included in the negotiation talks for positions of power, considering it is youth month.

International Issues

The next administration is going to have to deal with a whole new world order.

The levelling of Gaza has shown the world that some seek to protect their interests, no matter the harm and destruction it brings to the people of Palestine and the supposed rule of international law.

South Africa is rightfully fighting for the people of Palestine in the International Court of Justice and that has placed a target on our backs that will be happily exploited by bad faith actors both in and out of the country.

We also cannot forget that other genocides are happening in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo and need to be addressed by the African Union and South Africa.

Africa’s minerals are being exploited and there is a deafening silence from complicit nations, and this means that we as a continent don’t have a choice but to fight for our future together as Africans.

Abroad and at home, making a living y is becoming harder and the burden is growing on those who are working, to take care of more family members who have lost their jobs.

The world is moving in a scary direction and some countries see international law as mere suggestions.

World leaders need to decide if they want to let it all burn or if they want to invest in our future by making the bold changes that need to be made. We don’t know where we are heading and we need to make sure we have a strong, decisive and compassionate government that puts its people and those who are living within her borders first rather than engaging in a feeding frenzy for power.

*** Ayanda Sishi-Wigzell is a social & political commentator, and a radio host.

** The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of IOL or Independent Media.

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