Ramaphosa will do well for himself, the ANC and the country if he begins by making sure the ghost of state capture is exorcised
THE country heaved a collective sigh of relief when Jacob Zuma finally resigned as president of the republic after a tumultuous era marked by corruption, economic decline and constitutional violations.
But Zuma is history and as he walks into the sunset, the country has an opportunity to reboot and move forward, putting the painful Zuma era behind it.
The focus shifts to the new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who must know, from day one, that the expectations of the nation rest on his shoulders. It is what he does, not what he says, that will show South Africa is on a new path to better governance, clean leadership and economic prosperity.
Ramaphosa will do well for himself, the ANC and the country if he begins by making sure the ghost of state capture is exorcised.
For this to happen, he must fire the ministers linked to the dodgy Gupta brothers, who are at the centre of allegations of plundering our state-owned entities, and clean the mess they created in the ministries in which they were hired, allegedly by this family.
We hope Ramaphosa will show he is the man to stop the looting by ending the era of political patronage that saw the appointment of praise singers, advisers and deputy ministers.
A leaner, more efficient cabinet of energetic, selfless men and women will take the country out of its political and economic morass.
Ministers like Mosebenzi Zwane, Des van Rooyen, Ben Martins, Bathabile Dlamini, Nomvula Mokonyane, Lynne Brown, Bongani Bongo, David Mahlobo, Faith Muthambi, Malusi Gigaba and Joe Maswanganyi, all linked to one scandal or the other, must be shown the door.
Ramaphosa must also clean up entities such as the National Prosecuting Authority, which had been captured under the Zuma leadership. Shaun Abrahams, whose appointment the courts found to have been irregular, must be fired so that those nabbed for corruption can face the full might of the law without a cloud hanging over the NPA and its leadership.
Ramaphosa must clean house at all levels of SOEs.
He must also stop the vanity projects of his predecessor and put a stop to scandalous Zuma plans such as the nuclear deal.
To succeed, Ramaphosa must be seen to curb excessive government expenditure and use the money to deliver quality services to South Africans.
The social grants fiasco, which has taken too long under Zuma’s watch, must be resolved sooner rather than later.