The president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, will present the State of the Nation Address (SONA) this coming week regardless of the leadership crisis stalking the country. Zuma is presently serving a second and last term in office and has four years to deliver on election promises. There is the assumption that the SONA speech will be “prettified” with new promises of improved governance and addressing the grievances of dealing with the apartheid era.
Without fail, there is a drastic decline in service deliveries, crime escalation and infringement of security with the failing power supply. The governing party of South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC), have no working solutions for the problems facing South Africa today. As the problems escalate, the leadership confirms that stability and peace are not attainable.
The recent protests in townships appear to be a common factor spiraling out of control. The public want answers and basic service deliveries from the government. Over the years, the decline in living standards has caused the people to take up arms and burn buildings as a form of protest against the leadership.
The education crisis does not have a happy ending, as learners are left without text books, with burning schools and incompetent teachers. Learners are being forced to stay away from school due to protests and lawlessness, indicating that government fails the young and restless students.
The ANC slogan “we will not fail our people” does not apply to the majority in South Africa. Leaders are expected to find answers and take action to problems occurring, yet the ANC fail miserably. The ANC fails to lead by example and follow the manifesto of the party, and cannot make decisions to avert total anarchy.
The government of South Africa have a duty to stabilize the country, defend the borders, fight corruption and address poverty. The ANC must lead and serve the people of South Africa and demonstrate Democratic leadership even if many voters express dismay. The ANC makes extravagant promises during election times with the sole purpose of securing a majority rule and never undertake to establish the true picture of democracy.
There is a serious disconnection between the leaders of South Africa and its communities. The ANC sends out the message that is it alright to burn, protest, steal and commit crimes. The people continue to demonstrate frustration with the lack of service deliveries and non-commitment from government, and take drastic action to force the government to listen. There is no foresight from the government and no urgency to repair the damage done over the last twenty years.
Over the last twenty years, the unemployment level has increased. Electricity and generating power have declined into a dreadful state, causing business to shut down. The rise in corruption has caused a disappearance of ZAR700 billion. Education, hospitals, and other essential service infrastructures have deteriorated into chaos. Crime, farm murders, and xenophobia rises annually and places South Africa in a precarious position. In recent years, Zuma has focused on covering up the wrongs of the leadership and not good governance.
It would be an absolute impossible task for any other political party to restore the country into a democratic country and clean up the mess of the ANC. To restore public confidence in government and rebuild the nation under good governance would take years of hard work.
The state of South Africa has drastically declined since the ANC has taken power. South Africa cannot continue on a path of destruction and failing leadership. Competent and responsible leadership is required to avert a disaster. It is not about which political party should govern South Africa. It is about having a party that is capable.
The citizens are annoyed and angry with the leadership crises and want President Zuma to resign. The people wish to avoid a deepening crises and are calling on the president to quit. South Africans are waiting for the SONA speech in the hope of hearing news that will avert a total breakdown of the leadership crisis facing South Africa.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
Photo by World Economic Forum –