South Africa: Facing an Existential Crisis, Ramaphosa Is Trapped in a Vicious Cycle


Cyril Ramaposa faces multiple crises and needs to find inner ruthlessness. Most of all he needs to act -- and especially to be seen to act. To start, he needs to get more people on his side. That's us. He cannot fix the problems on his own, nor should he be expected to.

In February 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa will present his State of the Nation Address (SONA) as he officially opens Parliament. It is not an overstatement to say this will be the most critical SONA of all he has given since becoming the first citizen in early 2018.

Everywhere you look; from columnists to talk show hosts, analysts and general talking heads, the president seems under unprecedented attack -- and if not him, then the key lieutenants he appointed to assist him in his mission to recover from the lost decade of State Capture and corporate collusion.

How could it all go wrong so fast? Perhaps the real question is, has it?

The best way of trying to understand the phenomenon that we are witnessing is by using what is known as polarity theory. Coined by US academic Barry Johnson, it's a model used to explain a situation...

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