RANJENI MUNUSAMY: Ramaphosa's three hidden strengths are now showing
'Announcing his economic stimulus and recovery plan on Friday, Ramaphosa owned every measure in his package of interventions'
On Friday, Ramaphosa announced a number of interventions that were clearly responding to complaints and criticism about blockages to economic growth and public hazards.
These included reducing the cost of doing business in SA, introducing measures to decrease data costs, addressing the terrible state of sanitation facilities in schools and filling vacant posts for medical staff at public hospitals.
These, along with the onerous visa requirements throttling tourism, have been raised repeatedly with the government, to no avail. Ramaphosa has heard people's grievances and says interventions will be done immediately.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has three major strengths that he ought to employ more often. The first is that he has an air of authority and legitimacy, particularly when he speaks about the economy. Announcing his economic stimulus and recovery plan on Friday, Ramaphosa owned every measure in his package of interventions. He is able to engage on the plan, from changes to the visa regime that frustrated tourism for many years to how the envisaged infrastructure roll-out is meant to be a catalyst for economic activity. He tossed only one question to the gaggle of ministers flanking him. Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in any event deferred details about the reprioritisation of R50bn in the national budget to his medium-term budget policy statement next month. It is perhaps unfair to compare Ramaphosa with his immediate predecessor but it is refreshing to deal with a leader who is not just reading the words someone else has written for him. Ramaphosa's second strength is that he is willin...