President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: REUTERS/ROGAN WARD
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: REUTERS/ROGAN WARD

When I grew up we used to recite a poem at primary school that goes like this: "All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all." The words are by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1848. 

To put them in the South African context it would be correct to say: "It's all dark and gloomy in our land of plenty, this cuts across all spectra of life, the economy, politics and socially."

To be sequential I'll start with the economy. We all know our economy has been stagnant for the past ten years. The recently released first-quarter results from Stats SA show our economy contracted 3.2%. Youth unemployment is at an unprecedented high, with all and sundry, including economist, calling it "the time bomb waiting to explode". Manufacturing has been in decline for more than ten years. The construction sector is in ICU and threatening to shed more jobs. 

The government's massive infrastructure programme has not materialised due to a lack of political will and requisite capacity. Coupled with this is the massive state of corruption in all spheres of government which is compounded by private-sector collusion, as demonstrated by the  construction monopolies during the 2010 World Cup infrastructure project build.

Economic growth of 4%-5% a year as envisaged by the National Development Plan will remain a pipe dream if the government fails to address these problems. The private sector must come to the party in a tangible way, not only with  pledges at summits and photo shoots during big events with government officials. 

On the political front, "Ramaphobia" and the New Dawn mantra are decapitating Cyril Ramaphosa's ''honeymoon". The more than 10-million people who voted for the ANC want to see rapid and meaningful change in their lives. The government must instil confidence in its citizens. It must be a government at work that is delivering quality services.

Ramaphosa must be seen to be dealing with all the rot that has  bedevilled the ANC. He must deal with the rogue elements within the national executive committee, state-owned enterprises and all spheres of government.

What makes matters worse is the return of the wolves to guard the hen house. They are the new chairs of portfolio committees in parliament who are implicated in wrongdoing. As a nation we need to have a thorough and honest debate about "innocent until proven guilty". What does it mean in a nation fraught with  social ills and moral degeneration? This notion has been abused by all those  trying to shield themselves from owning up to their malfeasance. 

The sixth ANC induction programme adopted the theme of "activist parliament". The most critical function of parliament is to hold the executive to account. This includes individuals flagged for flouting the constitution and good governance principles. It remains to be seen if these chairs will be able to execute their task without fear or favour. 

Failure to act on the above spells danger for the survival of the ANC as the party of our people and the custodian of moral fortitude. It will be the beginning of the end for the party of great leaders such as Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and many more who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.  

Lastly, on the social front, we hope Bafana Bafana will make the country proud and emulate the legends of 1996 by winning the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. The past few weeks have been traumatic with Banyana Banyana booted out of their maiden Women's World Cup in France and the national cricket team living up to their famous name "chokers" in all big world events. All is gloomy in our country.

Let us  all dream as President Ramaphosa has again "thuma" (sent) us. We must put all hands on deck to make SA  a winning and prosperous nation again. 

Siphiwe Mafika Mgcina
ANC RTT coordinator in Sedibeng region in his personal capacity