President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about a "new dawn" in his state of the nation address earlier this year. Since then, the new dawn has been repeated as a positive mantra of change in SA’s politics and governance. But every dawn needs to break — which usually means a battle between the night and the rising sun. If we trust the metaphor, we must recognise widespread protests, in Mahikeng, North West, as indicative of issues in governance across provinces around the country. And when considering how to deal with these, the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) has to tread carefully around political and administrative actions, and ramifications that may follow. Political actions Protesters in the North West have taken to the streets in dissatisfaction with the provincial leadership of Premier Supra Mahumapelo. Protesters’ concerns are rampant corruption in the province, while unions cite lack of service delivery in the provincial health and education departments. Ramaphosa d...

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