When the ANC’s national conference ended on Wednesday night, the country was left with its biggest problem: the ANC. There is lots of optimism about the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president, which is well founded. But the main cause of SA’s economic stagnation and paralysis has not been President Jacob Zuma alone; it has been the internal contestation and resultant dysfunctionality of the ANC. Because of the ANC’s dominance, this problem has infected and affected the political life of the nation. It will make a difference that the person at the head of the ANC is not someone there for the primary purpose of enriching himself and his family. It will make a difference that the ambiguity that has existed in government departments over the implementation of the National Development Plan will end. And, because ANC political praxis asserts (at least in theory) that it is the ANC that is the centre of power, Ramaphosa will for the first time have the ability to make a difference to...

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