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Tutwa Newsletter | June 2019

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Dear [subscriber:firstname | default:reader],

Elections have come and gone. The governing party was returned with a decent majority, although with much lower margins than the 2014 elections. In a democracy a 57% electoral victory is resounding. However, in view of the history of the governing party and its deep immersion among the majority of South Africans, this performance should be a cause for concern within the party. In both 2004 and 2009 elections, the African National Congress notched a two-thirds majority. In 2014, the sharp decline in support began to manifest, with the ANC obtaining 62% of the national votes. The recent performance of the governing party represents a normalisation of politics.

Idealism has been overtaken by realism, and this trend will continue to unfold. With the elections behind us, eyes are now fixed on what President Cyril Ramaphosa’s delivery programme will look like. His ascendance was accompanied by a groundswell of goodwill and bouts of optimism. The imagery of a New Dawn that was to be his slogan projected a promise of social renewal, as well as economic and institutional reforms. Overcoming the institutional legacy of the Zuma era will be fraught with difficulties. Rebuilding an economy as battered as South Africa’s and systematically address the deep-seated challenges related to unemployment and shortage of human capital will require extraordinary effort.

The change will bring its own discomfort. Some of the tensions within the governing party are an expression of this dynamic: as the new emerges, the old seek to paralyse it. In this edition, we take a look at the tough decisions that Ramaphosa’s administration will have to grapple with in the next 5 years. We hope you enjoy these insights, and as always we look forward to your comments and feedback.

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