Like Brexit, 52-48 margin matters not; incorruptible Ramaphosa has mandate to fix SA

By Alec Hogg

Just like Brexit, it was a tight 52-48% vote yesterday as 4,701 ANC delegates elected Cyril Ramaphosa to become the party’s next president. But if Brexit has shown us anything, it is that in a democracy, the winner tends to take all. In this instance, that is incredibly good news.

What happens next is sure to provide just as much drama as the last 48 hours of through-the-night voting, recounts and, finally, the result most South Africans were praying for. We expect Ramaphosa to fulfil his promise to unleash SA’s version of Brazil’s Operation Car Wash. There are, we believe, at least 150 plunderers already on the “to-be-charged” list.

The new president’s biggest job, however, is rebuilding. SA’s economy desperately needs to create jobs; the capital to do so has to be made to feel welcome; criminals need to be tamed; and race relations have to normalise. But those areĀ tomorrow’sĀ challenges. For today, it’s enough to celebrate that eight ruinous years of misrule can now end. And, more profoundly, that the young democracy has been stress tested – and its foundations have held. Hope springs.

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