The ANC returned from exile riding a wave of support, but it has just about messed things up. Government dysfunction is what is holding the country back; it has triggered nationwide discontent. The government is not working for the people who elected it.

The ANC started out with some promise. Those snaking queues of South Africans on April 27 1994 had the hope that, at last, the marginalised would have people in the government who not only looked like them but represented them, spoke for them and indeed would serve them. The ANC did mess up from time to time, but there was a genuine attempt to serve.

That's all history now. The ANC is seen to represent corruption and incompetence. And it's not only its enemies who say so. No better an authority than President Cyril Ramaphosa himself was unsparing in his criticism of his party's missteps during the ANC presidential contest.

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