Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The last time an SA president failed to cross the Rubicon, our then strong economy was dealt a severe body blow. International sanctions, boycotts, disinvestment, a collapsed rand, strikes and civil unrest were the order of the day.

Now, 34 years later, President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet face a Rubicon of even greater magnitude which, if they fail to cross it confidently, will again have a devastating effect on economic growth, unemployment and poverty. This time our already weak economy could be dealt a lethal blow.

Most business leaders, economists, political commentators and enlightened political parties support the Treasury’s proposals to restore SA to economic stability and growth. Probably most SA citizens in their minds and hearts accept them as common sense and the only real recipe for economic recovery, increased job opportunities and relief from permanent poverty.

If the divisions within the ANC and the lack of courage from the president and his cabinet prevent the implementation of these proposals in their entirety and immediately, they and their Cosatu allies must take full responsibility for the socioeconomic distress more and more South Africans will find themselves in due to the inevitable increase in crime, corruption and unrest.

If the president crosses this Rubicon, he will find himself in good company, and will be joined by the majority of South Africans who care more about the country and their future than blind political allegiance to failed outdated ANC economics and divisive internal party politics.

It is quite possible that on the other side of the Rubicon the president will find an opportunity to promote a realignment of politics and forge a powerful political centre and government of national unity that can govern this country without albatrosses hanging around its neck.

David Gant