Ramaphosa's nine months in office: What has been achieved
Nine months is enough time to have a baby‚ but what has President Cyril Ramaphosa done with his first nine months in office?
According to the FW De Klerk Foundation‚ when Ramaphosa was sworn in as president on February 16 this year‚ he placed job creation at the centre of his national agenda.
In its review of his performance during the nine months he has been in office‚ the foundation said Ramaphosa had made a long list of commitments‚ which included holding a jobs summit‚ an investment conference and the acceleration of infrastructure projects.
“It is a long list and difficult to evaluate in detail‚” the foundation said.
However‚ the foundation added that there was little evidence of the acceleration of infrastructure projects in terms of water‚ health and maintenance of roads.
It also said there had been very little seen with regard to the commitments related to small business development and the reduction of regulatory barriers to small businesses.
The foundation posited that in terms of agriculture‚ the spectre of expropriation of land without compensation still featured prominently‚ despite a strengthening of relationships following talks between Deputy President David Mabuza and Agri SA.
“Tourism has not benefited much as yet.”
It also said the National Health Insurance looked‚ at least financially‚ like a dead duck that the country simply could not afford at the moment.
The foundation said the Social Sector Summit‚ planned to help with crime prevention in communities‚ had not yet taken place.
“President Ramaphosa’s comment in the USA that white farmers are not being killed was a serious misstep.”
It also said the review of the size and the number of national departments and the Cabinet "has been much-discussed‚ but there has been little action”.
However‚ the foundation said there had been some achievements‚ including the publication of the new Mining Charter‚ the hosting of the National Youth Crime Prevention Summit in June and the attention given to state-owned enterprises.
The foundation said there were several significant initiatives launched by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan‚ including new boards‚ lifestyle audits and tough questions about financial management.
“Since March‚ President Ramaphosa has been in Parliament three times to answer questions‚ as well as once in the National Council of Provinces.
“Further‚ it is not just his presence‚ but the manner in which he answered the difficult questions that commands respect.”
However‚ the Congress of the People said apart from encouraging foreign investment‚ nothing good had come since Ramaphosa’s ascension to power.
It said it would take years for Ramaphosa to address the problems facing the country because he had inherited a rotten and destroyed administration from former president Jacob Zuma.
Cope spokesman Dennis Bloem said Ramaphosa did not have the full support of the ANC’s national executive committee and the top six to implement his programmes.
“He is a prisoner in an open prison. He cannot take decisions as he has to look at the other faction within the ANC as not to upset it.”
Bloem said his minister of police‚ Bheki Cele‚ was trying his level best to address the crime situation.
On the other hand‚ the Inkatha Freedom Party charged that while Ramaphosa’s intentions had been good and noble‚ the situation remained the same and that the President had not achieved much at all.
“We have a different choirmaster with the same script. He has not covered himself in any glory by the near-total retention of the Zuma Cabinet‚” IFP spokesman Mkhuleko Hlengwa said.
He further added that this was evident in the rising unemployment figures‚ economic growth figures being revised downwards and fuel prices increasing every month‚
“We have had summits and summits and conferences. These are bloated Cabinet meetings with few added guests‚” Hlengwa said.
He went on to say that there had been no movement from Ramaphosa to reduce the bloated Cabinet.
“His predicament is that his margin of victory at Nasrec [at the ANC national conference] was very slim‚” Hlengwa said.