Cyril Ramaphosa waited patiently for 20 years for SA’s top job. Since acceding to the presidency in February he has accelerated the tempo with impressive resolve. The one-time union leader turned tycoon has little time to persuade South Africans that with him in charge of the ANC, both the ruling party and its country are on the mend. The 2019 elections, in which the former liberation movement’s longstanding political dominance will be put to the test, are looming. SA, in the decade that Jacob Zuma was president, stood still on crucial fronts and slipped precariously backwards on others. In the two months since Zuma was forced out of office by the party, his successor has energetically set about reversing the damage. Already, Ramaphosa has made a string of decisions and appointments that have revived investor confidence. The collective relief felt by many South Africans, who feared their country was headed inexorably towards decline, is palpable. If Ramaphosa is to capitalise on goo...

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