South Africa’s Zuma, ANC Must Deliver on ‘Transformation’

South Africa’s Zuma, ANC Must Deliver on ‘Transformation’

In his inaugural address on May 24, South African President Jacob Zuma identified “rapid economic transformation” and “inclusive growth” as the policy centerpieces of his second and final term in office. This emphasis on transformation reflects an underlying post-election unease within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and represents a tacit recognition that Zuma’s first term was largely squandered due to scandals, managerial incompetence at all levels of government and internecine strife within the ruling party.

The ANC hierarchy is aware that another five years of drift and underachievement will lead to a hemorrhage of votes in the 2016 municipal elections and subsequently the 2019 general election. It will also cause a further acceleration of the violent service-delivery protests that have become so commonplace over the past five years, even in the ANC’s political bastions of support.

Zuma also realizes that his second term provides a final opportunity to carve out a meaningful political legacy, one defined by tangible socio-economic achievement rather than embarrassing personal infidelities, the misuse of public funds (exemplified by the Nkandla scandal) and the widespread belief that he is a man out of his intellectual depth in the nation’s highest office. Taken collectively, these factors give momentum to the call for rapid economic transformation, although such pronouncements now induce a weary cynicism and a strong sense of deja vu in the South African population.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.