There is an expression that the wheels of government turn very slowly, and for the past few years, the perception had been that this was indeed the case.
However, under the presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa it seems like it’s all stations go and the wheels of government are turning faster and faster. Since Ramaphosa assumed power, so much has already been accomplished.
After the turbulence in Parliament under Jacob Zuma, we had a State of the Nation address earlier this year without disruption and the familiar call of Point of Order, and a President who seemed to speak directly to South Africans, taking us into his confidence.
The cabinet has been reshuffled, and the key portfolios of Finance, under Minister Nhlanhla Nene, and the astute Pravin Gordhan who now oversees State Owned Enterprises, will hopefully stop the leakage and corruption that has been rife in the past years. Jeff Radebe has been given the key portfolio of Minister of Energy, restoring confidence and confirming that government would not embark on any nuclear programme, which could bankrupt the country. Ramaphosa also dumped all the blatantly obvious Gupta supporters in his Cabinet.
This week Minister Radebe also announced the go ahead of 27 renewable energy deals that have been in the pipeline for over two years. While a court case now looms over the signing of these green energy contracts, the renewable energy sector is still hopeful of a positive conclusion. These deals total 56 billion in capital expenditure, with 61 600 jobs that will be created in the process, and an additional 2.3 MW of electricity which could be ready by 2020.
Rating Agencies want to see clean and clear leadership and the fact that the government is prepared to make tough decisions, in the face of opposition from within their own ranks, can only be regarded as a positive.
Recently, Sunday Carte Blanche ran an insert on the disastrous reign of Nomvula Mokonyane who managed to almost single handedly bring the department to its knees and worse still, stand by idly, while water became the key issue in the minds of South Africans. This week, after months, and in some cases years of stalling, the drought has been declared a national disaster and the steps taken and gazetted to release funds to start addressing the problem.
Our Minister of Finance is overseas wooing foreign investors and taking off exactly where Pravin Gordhan left off when he was recalled by Jacob Zuma. That is what we want to see our Minister of Finance doing.
We have been through such a rough patch in our country’s history that I am delighting in having to pick and choose positive stories about our wonderful rainbow nation.
My mother used to say the wheel turns. It’s been a while and we have endured much but I am glad to say this bus is back on the road and the wheels of the bus are gathering momentum.