For the first time, President Cyril Ramaphosa has conceded that much of the “Ramaphoria” the country had last year has dissipated.
Ramaphosa made this admission on Monday as he launched a weekly newsletter to the nation dubbed “From the Desk of the President.”
Through the newsletter, Ramaphosa said he will “discuss some of the issues that interest and concern South Africans.”
He will also focus on what government is doing to address these issues, he added.
‘Ramaphoria’ is gone
Much of the President’s first newsletter dwelled on the economy and unemployment.
Ramaphosa acknowledged that this year, the economy will grow at a lower rate than had been expected.
He acknowledged that the confidence or “Ramaphoria” South Africans had when he ascended to office last year has dissipated.
Much of the confidence that the country had 20 months ago has dissipated as the reality of the problems we face became clearer.
This confidence was born out of the hope that we would quickly undo the damage that was done over a number of years. Implementing change does take time.President Cyril Ramaphosa
Nevertheless, the President reiterated his determination to “effect change while remaining irrevocably committed to rooting out state capture, corruption and malfeasance.”
He said the task now is to rebuild confidence based not merely on hope, but also on “concrete things” and actions that make a difference.
Economic recovery plan
Ramaphosa highlighted some of the steps his government has taken so far to stimulate economic growth.
These include support for black commercial farmers and establishment of a Township Economy Fund, he said.
He added that “government will finalise a clear economic growth strategy within the next few weeks.”
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni published a draft strategy in late August and invited public comment.
The African National Congress (ANC) discussed this draft paper at its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting over the weekend.
Some of its proposals include pursuing labour-intensive growth and sale of struggling state-owned enterprises.