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 as well as three free articles per month. You'll also receive our free email newsletter to stay up to date on all our coverage:

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 your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

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

More World Politics Review