News / South Africa

Steven Tau
2 minute read
24 Mar 2017
5:41 am

Only citizens can solve current SA leadership crisis, say analysts

Steven Tau

Political analysts said the change ultimately rested with citizens as the country’s political environment is not changing for the better.

President Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during the national Women's Day celebrations at the Union Buildings on August 09, 2016 in Pretoria. Picture: Gallo Images

The perceived leadership crisis in the country can only be solved by South Africans, according to political analyst Ralph Mathekga.

Criticism of government leaders has led citizens, as well as prominent political figures, to call on President Jacob Zuma to step down.

But the leadership challenges cannot be solved by politicians, as they form part of the crisis, Mathekga said.

“The leadership elected is a reflection of what you, as a citizen of this country, want. It is the citizens who have the power to decide what direction the country should be taking. I don’t say people should forcefully remove government leaders from power … no, but they can evaluate them.

“Until society does something through establishing a citizens’ agency, which involves public participation, we unfortunately will never know where we are going as a country.”

Mathekga stressed that even if 1 000 workshops were to be held, the solution to the country’s leadership crisis ultimately rests on the shoulders of citizens.

Another challenge SA is facing, is a “power tussle” in the absence of an intention to regain moral ground.

“People – including those in rural areas – have also shown signs of losing hope in the country’s leadership. But the question remains what are you, as a citizen, going to do to rectify those mistakes?”

Another political analyst, professor Andre Duvenhage, said the country’s political environment is not changing for the better.

“The dynamics within the ruling ANC, dirty tricks, the burgling of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s offices, Helen Zille’s tweets, which showed we cannot enter into constructive debates, an under-performing economy and reports of secret talks between the EFF and the ANC, just shows the unpredictability of our politics.

“Our political environment is also in a state of decay and social cohesion is also in trouble while our levels of instability are very high,” Duvenhage said.

He said the country’s politics has also become praetorian where power is centralised with systems becoming less democratic.

“Our leadership is also the weakest in a majority of positions and instead of saying what can we do to improve our living conditions, some leaders are working for their own personal interests,” said Duvenhage.

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