Friday Briefing: The grinding battle against state failure
As far as news weeks go, and compared to his American and British counterparts, President Cyril Ramaphosa has had a fairly easy week. There was no new corruption scandal, no leaked emails or factional fights in the ANC spilling into the public domain, and no mass protests. For the president, it was a relatively drama-free week.
Ramaphosa has had a rollercoaster of a year thus far, leaving one to wonder how he finds time to get down to the real business of rebuilding the state. Yet, the optimists would say, slowly but surely sanity is returning to government.
Last week, Ramaphosa launched a new service delivery model called Khawuleza (it means “hurry up” in isiXhosa) which promises to end the state’s unproductive tendency to operate in silos. As Mpumelelo Mkhabela writes in the week’s briefing, this for the first time gives South Africans a measurable indicator to assess the president’s performance.
Ferial Haffajee writes that in a speech at the congress of the SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union last week Ramaphosa also punted the idea of worker ownership in companies, which would give workers a fair share of the economic pie.
Both Khawuleza and a change in labour policy could give the economy a considerable boost and go a long way to restore the faith in government. But as Thembinkosi Gcoyi explains, meaningful change takes time. We wait with bated breath.