South Africa Needs to Move Beyond Party Tropes to Hold Those Who Govern to Account

Former U.S. president Donald Trump, former president Jacob Zuma, South Africa (file photo).

The state of our democracy has been partly shaped by the failures of the governing party, by populist personalities and the inability of our social compact to comprehensively confront the challenges that underpin structural poverty, violence, unemployment and entrenched inequality.

The lost decade under Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Mhlanganyelwa Zuma may be a defining stain on the health of our democratic institutions and sovereign wealth, as well as the wellbeing of South Africans at large. But, those years, epitomised by greed, self-interest and insurrectionist malfeasance, are not the sole reason South Africa continues to flail, unable to confront the devastating costs of entrenched poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Deeper introspection and reflection is required by those who have been entrusted to govern our country, provinces, cities, towns and communities. Introspection that demands a higher standard of performance, delivery and accountability. This is the only meaningful way to confront our political system which continues to fail, maim, kill and disenfranchise South Africans from opportunity and prosperity.

Beyond the accounting that is so desperately needed, and seemingly only appreciated by the judiciary (particularly noting its recent directive to a former president seemingly ever prepared to be delinquent), South Africans cannot continue to wait and believe...

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