President Cyril Ramaphosa, (centre). Picture: GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa, (centre). Picture: GCIS

In the past 24 hours, President Cyril Ramaphosa had to apologise for the poor state of the country’s infrastructure before having first-hand experience of just how bad it is.

On Sunday, he spoke to national broadcaster the SABC  on the sidelines of an election campaign appearance in Mahikeng to say sorry for some of the most severe power cuts South Africans have yet experienced.

On Monday morning, he joined commuters on a 45-minute train trip to Pretoria. Unexplained delays meant that the trip lasted more than three hours and he was late for a meeting of the governing party’s leadership.

It’s not an ideal situation for a man who is trying to convince voters to back his ANC in general elections in May, when many of them already blame the party for the country’s inadequate public transport and failing power grid.

Having already said that he plans to restructure the power utility Eskom, Ramaphosa kept up his tough talk while stuck on the train. It’s going to take more than that to convince potential voters.