The real Zuma - let's see him
Over the last few weeks we've been privileged to watch interesting election debates between the colourful Mitt Romney and the eloquent Barack Obama. OK - perhaps he wasn't his most eloquent during the second debate but the main thing was the decision on who to put their faith in was left up to the American voter. Obama seems to have won the third and last debate that took place earlier this week.
These debates give the public a chance to hear unrehearsed answers on various topics of national importance. They get to see just how these men react, in the flesh when put under pressure. And sometimes, as Obama discovered, it doesn't always work out so well.
During the recent British Tory Party Annual Conference in Birmingham, Prime Minister David Cameron was interviewed by morning presenter Eamonn Holmes of Skye Television. In an informal, friendly interview Holmes was able to question and sometimes challenge Cameron on topics that he felt concerned his viewers, from security in their homes to education and pensions. Again, without knowing what questions were coming up Cameron answered each and every one giving his views and informing the British public just what his party was doing for them.
Meanwhile, back in SA...
We're still not exactly sure even who the ANC candidates are for the all-important Mangaung elections are in December. We've heard that various ANC luminaries are backing Kgalema Motlanthe against Zuma, although Motlanthe refuses to comment on whether he will even accept the nomination. The names Tokyo Sexwale and Fikile Mbalula amongst others have also been bandied around. The latter, although he strenuously denies it, has labelled his leader 'politically bankrupt', which doesn't bode well for future working relationships...
International speculation on the future of South Africa has been mounting weekly, as reports of divisions and in-fighting are regularly denied by the party, even though international rating agencies and political analysts around the world are obviously aware of the effect this has on South Africa.
If you were an investor who had been looking at South Africa as a 'safe investment' would you still be interested? I don't think so. Firstly you would want to have clarity of certain issues, top of which would be a stronger declaration on nationalisation, as well as land reform and taxation not to mention what incentives would be offered for foreign investment?
So where's Jacob?
Just taking the current unrest with the mining and transport workers' strikes, including the horrors of Marikana into account, our economy has taken another major nose dive.
All this uncertainty and negativity is having a direct impact of all South African business, manufacturing, retail or our own media and marketing world.
Moody's showed their feelings by downgrading our government bonds, banks and even the Old Mutual Insurance Company. A serious sign of world views on those who govern our country!
The bottom line is: When do we hear from our leaders or leaders-in-waiting? Why hasn't President Zuma been on television (and not just the biased SABC) answering off-the-cuff questions to which we all want answers? He appeared to be stumbling over his words briefly the day after Marikana and in any event told us nothing we didn't already know.
When his challengers for leadership are officially announced, wouldn't it be wonderful to see them go head-to-head in a televised debate so that we can judge just who we have the most confidence in - even if we don't have a vote?
And what about inter-party debates? Wouldn't you just love to see him go head to head with Helen Zille? Or what about the irascible Mosiuoa Lekota, president of COPE as well as Dr Pieter Mulder of the Freedom Front? Who would come out the winner? At least we would have the option to judge for ourselves.