Compared to Jacob Zuma, President Cyril Ramaphosa is more suave in projecting an image. In that, he is very much like overseas leaders who often emphasise form over function because they realise the media – and the public – often have the proverbial 15-second attention span.
But, Ramaphosa’s announcement that he has frozen salaries of the government executive as well as parliamentary and provincial office bearers was, correctly, seen by many as being nothing more than a symbolic gesture.
Even though these people are overpaid (and under-worked some might say), whatever savings are made by this move will be minimal.
What Ramaphosa really needs to do is slash the bloated Cabinet he inherited from Zuma and, at the same time, take an axe to the perks of those who remain.
Shrinking the unnecessary and expensive VIP protection unit – and its ego-boosting “blue light” convoys – would be an excellent start.
However, in the world of realpolitik, Ramaphosa must be careful who he removes – because he is far from settled on his throne and the Zuma faction is still strong and has the potential to cause mischief.
Sadly, the patronage will continue.