The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
Yesterday the Cyril Spring arrived in full force. South Africa has a smart and popular new President. Ramaphosa’s appeal to foreign investors also promises to jumpstart a stalled economy. IRR chief Frans Cronje predicts the Ramaphosa Effect will double this year’s GDP growth rate to 1.9% – a $4bn boost to economic activity.
Surprisingly, Jacob Zuma’s resignation triggered a gnashing of teeth rather than dancing in the streets. Media intelligence firm Meltwater reported that 47% of social media reactions were in “language steeped in negative tone, suggesting most people displayed anger toward Zuma’s legacy, rather than rejoicing at his decision to step-down.”
This was illustrated by a widely circulating clip of eNews TV’s live crossing to Braamfontein immediately after the resignation. The control room cut away after the first person interviewed called Zuma a “motherf$@*er” and the second told the camera the 75 year old must “F$£k off”.
On a lighter note, South Africans discovered an unlikely new national hero in the jet pilot who refused the instruction of Atul Gupta to take the family plane skywards. And Forensics for Justice yesterday offered a R100 000 reward “for any person that gives information that leads to the arrest of Ajay Gupta within the next 48 hours.”
The young democracy is, at last, readying itself to fulfil its undeniable potential. Hope has sprung. Enjoy the moment.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.