The dramatic and unprecedented postponement of the opening of parliament this week says as much about the national mood as it does about the economy. SA is standing on the brink of a breakthrough and is pregnant with opportunity. Bright rays of sunlight have finally dawned, after the cold, dark nine years of Jacob Zuma.

On the face of it, a postponement to the democratic process would not seem inherently to be a great thing. But in this case, it is. By delaying the opening of parliament, the ruling ANC is seeking to resolve the most pressing issue facing the country — getting rid of the wrecking ball from Nkandla and a large part of what he stands for. It means Zuma’s time is done. The man is on his way out.

Once that happens, SA will emerge with more credible people in charge of the state for the first time in nearly a decade. Of course, that’s only the first step — what we need then is an urgent resuscitation of the key institutions of the state that have been castrated. A good starting point would be to restore the credibility of parliament itself.

The ruling party needs to accept that political parties — and therefore their leaders — have too much power and too little accountability. A change to the system by which the president is elected, to ensure better accountability to the people of the country, would be a good start.

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