Polling company Ipsos re-released a telling graph on Thursday in which a more or less representative sample of South Africans were asked a simple question: is the president doing a good job? It’s easy to forget now that in 2010 the level of optimism was extremely high. Former president Jacob Zuma at that stage had a 70% approval rating, higher as it happens than the proportion of the population that supported his party in the previous election. The rating over the years plummeted, until in November last year only 25% of respondents thought he was doing "well" or "fairly well", itself not a very high bar. President Cyril Ramaphosa enters the presidency with a strong wind in his sails. He too enters office with enormously high expectations and it’s clear South Africans are really dying for change. But as the Zuma experience shows, optimism can very quickly turn to pessimism, particularly in a country like SA where the needs are great and the resources small. So what does Ramaphosa nee...

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