The elections are over and you can almost hear a collective sigh of relief from the ANC.
Things didn’t end as badly as some had predicted before May 8. But for Uncle Cyril, the hard work is only just beginning.
I still remember my own confusion as a schoolboy during the dark apartheid years when PW Botha shuffled his Cabinet.
“Why on earth did he do that?” I asked my cynical father.
“Cabinet ministers are like nappies,” he told me. “Both should be changed often. And usually for the same reason.”
Of course, it is dangerous to juggle ministers like a jester at the town carnival. Jacob Zuma’s presidency is still too fresh in our memories to believe differently. But Uncle Cyril can’t wait any longer.
South Africans are a diverse lot, but most of us desire the same things. We want peace, we want happiness. And, above all, we want a solid, stable economy which will enable us to put a roof over our children’s heads, to send them to bed with full tummies and to give them a quality education. To do that, we need jobs.
We have just learned that unemployment has grown to the highest level in a long time in the first quarter of 2019.
It’s a huge challenge to reverse this trend. I have heard people say government should finance job creation. I have a surprise for them. Everything is taxpayer funded. And the taxpayer can’t fund more stuff after being milked dry by previous administrations.
Citizens are already financing a bloated, inefficient civil service, corruption and failed parastatals such as the SABC and Eskom.
The best we can hope for is foreign investment, and to get that, we will have to build investor confidence – something which has suffered terribly under Zuma thanks to state capture.
Uncle Cyril has done less than some had expected since becoming president. Just wait until the elections are behind us, his supporters told us earlier this year.
Now that time has arrived and we can’t wait to see his Cabinet.
It needs to be much smaller to instill confidence that the days of wasting money to appease pals are over. And he needs to get rid of the dead wood and those associated with corruption, whether his decisions are popular or not.
The ball is in your court, Mr President.