Dear President Ramaphosa: Aren’t you at least a little embarrassed?

President Ramaphosa may 'fear f*k*l', but is he at least self-aware enough to be embarrassed by the state of affairs?

I don’t know what it is that causes embarrassment.

For some, it’s appearing at their school reunion in a 1986 Datsun. Others may experience that internal sense of horror as they accidentally send the wrong photo to the wrong person.

Whatever it is, one needs some degree of self-consciousness or at least some awareness to realise that you should feel shame.

When you took office, the Rand was sub R12 to the Dollar. When the party you lead came to power it was sub R4. Today we’re beyond R18.

Yet you can go to the USA, stand next to Joe Biden and manage to smile?

Soon you’ll be off to the UK on invitation of King Charles. You’ll probably meet with Rishi and have to confront the fact that he’s in power after his 4 predecessors respectively called a silly referendum, failed to deliver Brexit, threw a party during lockdown, hired a dude accused of sexual misconduct, and delivered a ridiculous economic policy.

Also Read: Former finance boss Rishi Sunak becomes British PM, inherits economy in tatters

Those are errors I can count on a single hand, yet they were the undoing of 4 prime ministers.

I could be naked and still not have sufficient appendages to count the errors of State in the last 4 years. Even if I had really long appendages to illustrate the degree of the errors. Like really long. Maybe as long as a 100m flag pole.

I get that all are created equal and that your contemporaries have their own issues. Yes, the cost of electricity is rising in many countries and the UK is dealing with a crisis, but at least they have electricity.

Those power plants we’ve spent ages and billion in overruns on building just to watch them break down, don’t really seem like they’re going to get us out of this mess.

So, while those in the UK can’t afford electricity, we can’t even be sure we’ll have the luxury of having unaffordable electricity in the near future.

And I know, it’s been pseudo-policy since ’94 to blame the past or raise the idea of privilege to write off these concerns.

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I mean, why should the strength of the currency or the availability of a national airline, reliable electricity supply, water, investment risk, crime stats, abuse of legal procedure, political infighting, high taxes, public health inadequacy, brain drain, labour disparity, substandard education, disintegrating infrastructure, questionable municipal service delivery, xenophobic outbursts, misaligned resource allocation, unemployment stats, gender based violence, an uncertain economic outlook, social instability, be priorities?

Oh man! I’ve already run out of appendages.

Anyway, I know. I’m going to be made to feel like a privileged brat when asked why the beggar at the side of the broken robot should care about any of that when they can’t even eat. Let’s talk about that then.

Don’t you stop at intersections? Have you not noticed how intersections have become turf for more and more begging?

I’m not certain what will come first, intersection turf wars between beggars or parking lots for car guards. What I am certain about is that that’s on you and the party you lead.

So much money is being thrown at interventions to improve the economy and make it more equitable but it only appears to be having the opposite effect, which you can tell by stopping at a red light nearly anywhere in a city.

Where are those resources going?

I’m aware the freedom charter doesn’t mention dignity, but the constitution does, in a big way.

Of course, I recognise the good fortune I have, but presiding over an economy where more and more people feel compelled to beg for their survival doesn’t exactly sound like the most appropriate way of recognising your peoples’ dignity.

This naturally comes across as criticism but look around. Your people want to help.

So many are staying, paying their taxes, and letting you get away with more than any of your international contemporaries.

We know it’s going to cost a fortune to fix the country, so when we’re spending a fortune, it kinda stings to see it going toward breaking the country instead.

I admire your eloquent portrayal of your lack of fear, but I also know that you’re a compassionate leader. I don’t know what your friends may have on you to prevent you from applying the fixes, many of which seem obvious.

Also Read: ‘I fear f*k*l!’ – Ramaphosa tells Malema he’s not scared of Cele

I also know that sometimes your motorcade will stop in traffic and your windows are not tinted enough to be able to shelter you from what’s going on in your streets.

I know you see it and there must be a part of you that has to admit that you’re presiding over it. It would be a sweeter story if there seemed to be a resolution on the horizon. It’s just that, it looks like things are getting worse with no horizon in sight.

I know you’re not scared of it since you don’t fear anything, but I’d very much like to know, at least, are you not embarrassed?

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Cyril Ramaphosa