In his closing speech to the ANC conference, the party’s newly-elected president, Cyril Ramaphosa, gave several guarded pointers to the steel which lies behind his suave exterior.
His emotional ties to the ANC were more clear cut.
“We are still here,” was his response to the doomsayers. “Standing almost 106 years later. Nasrec 2017 has not only united us, it has strengthened us.”
That, we have to believe considering the monumental tasks which now face him, was the heart-on-the sleeve response from a man so deeply imbued in the movement.
Turning that into truly muscular movement may prove more difficult.
But Ramaphosa has shown his pragmatic side and his extensive business experience in zeroing in on the things that are of most concern to the citizens of this embattled nation as his first point of action.
The list of wrongs the ANC has to start putting right is a long one but Ramaphosa has made “a radical path of socioeconomic transformation, premised on growth, job creation and equitable distribution of income, wealth and assets” as the priority.
“We are resolved to cast aside those attitudes and practices that have seen a gulf grow between those in public office and those they were elected to serve.”
In pushing for the prospect of a more equitable economic disbursement among all South Africans, Ramaphosa has cut to the core of the current dilemma; the crux of the majority of the mass dissatisfaction which has left our ordinary citizens feeling disenfranchised.
Even some small gains in this regard will give Ramaphosa the foothold to confront the mountainous flanks he typifies as “the reality that critical institutions of our state have been targeted by individuals and families through the exercise of influence and the manipulation of governance processes and public resources”.
It is a task surely no one can envy.