Thousands of people from all walks of life, hoisting placards with colourful remarks in reference to President Zuma, marched for change on April 7th. It was a day dominated by social media posts rife with the appearance of patriotic purpose. A purpose which resonates with me but action which I feel will do little to unseat the indifferent President Zuma.
The plethora of empty promises made by government and the dissatisfaction of communities at the deteriorating economic and social circumstances they face proved too much as thousands asked for Zuma to resign. The ruling party now lies fragmented, fractured and grasping for a grip on a society which just over 23 years ago cheered its struggle veterans to leadership at the advent of a democratic and free South Africa.
Zuma resigning will not be enough
Today we stand at the height socio-economic collapse. As we celebrate the life of individuals such as Chris Hani and Ahmed Kathrada we are left asking how our democracy has been hijacked. And while it’s great seeing people march for a cause but if the cause we are marching for is solely to see Zuma resign then we are just as politically ignorant as he is.
His resignation won’t magically solve all our ills. A complete government overhaul is what’s required. A new administration with fresh thinking, new ideas and an approach towards economic transformation which sees the wealth of South Africa handed back to its people.
The motion of no confidence on the cards for the 18th of April will not be a secret ballot. So, while discontent within the ANC may be strong not a lot of MPs would openly vote against him. This is why a secret ballot was sought by opposition MPs.
Zuma’s critics within the ANC are unlikely to vote against him as this places a target on their backs should the vote not go the way of the opposition, which it probably will not.
If Zuma must fall then who or what must rise?
Let’s take a look at the possible successors to Zumas throne. Cyril Ramaphosa is a shrewd businessman who understands the value of foreign direct investment to SA. But does he possess the political will to take the country forward? This remains to be seen.
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has, over the past few years, spent more time out of South Africa than she has in the country. But as a former AU chairperson, her presidency could solidify regional and continental ties which have become strained under President Zuma.
So as we continue marching let us take a moment to think about why we are doing so. We should not become resigned to our fate but rather conscientise our communities and engage young people to ensure that come 2019 the change we see is a change defined by each and every South African and not the politicians who seek to divide us.
For or against the current leadership of the country, the reality is that the future we seek lies in the hands of South Africa’s young people. So beyond ideas of mass mobilisation, sit-ins or the spin doctoring of the old guard, lies the idea of greater political awareness, dialogue and debate which is deeply needed to drive forward a South Africa we can all call home on our terms, not one built on the back of black economic exploitation.
Contributor: Muhammad Sheik
Picture by Nduduzo Ngcobo
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