South Africa: Will Ramaphosa's Weekly Missive Hit the Mark?


The tide has turned somewhat negatively for President Cyril Ramaphosa -- the national mood is getting sombre. Three weeks ago, he announced a new communications channel -- a weekly English-only e-letter from the president to 'fellow South Africans'. It's hard to say what this hopes to achieve, given the high levels of illiteracy and the criminally high cost of data in SA.

Soon after its unbanning and the release of its leaders from prison, the African National Congress was faced with two tasks: first, to win via multi-party talks what it could not win through the armed struggle -- a negotiated end to apartheid; and second, to simultaneously get its message across to millions of South Africans who had been deprived of its voice through censorship attached to the ban.

The results of the first task are evident today -- namely, our rowdy 25-year-old constitutional democracy and its unfinished business such as the failure to roll out a credible land reform programme and to get better outcomes from the billions five successive ANC-led governments spend each year on basic education.

The results of the second task are hard to see. The party is still complaining about its messages being distorted...

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