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    On Tuesday I was inundated with inbox messages where most of you were asking for my opinion on the direction the president is taking the country. I made a promise that I will respond after his Thursday speech. I'm sure many of you have been wondering when the response was going to come and here we are.

    To address your question, it will not be fair to respond based only on what he said on this two occasions, but I believe to make you understand, I will reference more from my book RESUSCITATION LEADERSHIP book for clarity purpose. It will shed more light even to other situations that you are still going to witness as the months and years go by as this book is more relevant for times such as this.

    Let me also say that the situation that world leaders in general are faced with at this moment is not an easy one and it cannot be immediately quantified and qualified due to the nature of the current situation being that of life and death. It therefore requires a lot of balancing to be done on a regular basis as some of the decisions taken may prove to be futile tomorrow to warrant a quick, on the spot adaptation to be made. I will be writing more on these subject of leadership in the next few weeks to share more of the related content. The reality is that this pandemic has shifted things for good and many things must change and fast.

    I have not yet doubted the president's capacity to swing things positively for this country especially because the success of the control of this virus does not entirely depend on the president and the government's effort alone, but the rest of the citizens as well.

    The president's credentials both in business and politics are practically less challengeable. His experience with the labour movement puts him in an advantageous position to negotiate and consult with the stakeholders in a manner that benefits us as a country if applied correctly with the South African nation in mind. Some of those practicalities have been demonstrated on Tuesday during his speech as he announced an extraordinary budget of R500 billion. He announced also a redirection of R130 billion from the current budget to mitigate the effects of this pandemic. Another R20 billion was also earmarked for the social spending as he played the balancing act of protecting the vulnerable South Africans. Some specifics were also announced which I will not dwell much on as I'm sure you are aware of. This makes me conclude that the president is knowledgeable and competent to lead this country at this stage. I will be tempted to suggest that as the citizens of this beautiful country, it will be worth an exercise to invest our trust in him and his team to while we keep our eyes open as this matter does not need a sleeping nation because things can easily change anytime. I will therefore go on to explore more on the direction of the president for this country by looking at a few qualities of leadership as listed in my book RESUSCITATION LEADERSHIP mentioned above.

    1. VISION

    Does the president have a vision for this country? I wish to take you to his speech when he addressed the nation on Thursday night. In his speech, the president has seen himself as part of this nation as he carefully and emphatically used the word "We" every time he made a point. This did not just make him one with us, it also took him into the confidence of the nation at large. As he continued to show how this pandemic has ravaged other countries, he reminded us of the gains that the lockdown had brought for us by minimizing fatalities compared to many other nations with better health facilities than ours. President Ramaphosa mentioned in his speech that the measures implemented are applied to save tens of thousands of lives. He continued to say that the people need to eat and the economy needs to recover.. This is an assertion that the country cannot afford to have people without the economy and surely the economy without the people is non existent. The two are interdependent on one another. I can therefore read that the cautious easing of the lockdown regulations is meant to create a balance between the economy and the people for a bright and blessed nation. The president is indeed a visionary.

    1. BOLD

    President Ramaphosa has shown even before the Corona Virus outbreak that he has bold and courageous plans when he encouraged the nation to dream with his smart city and many other proposed initiatives. A few weeks ago he managed to mobilize ordinary South Africans across the various diversities to seize the opportunity to make the lives of ordinary people to feel a cushioned blow of this pandemic. He was bold to establish a solidarity fund which aims at giving distressed South Africans to have some relief. Many South Africans and the business sector donated to the fund as they felt the boldness of this leader who personally lobbied the international community to feel this compassionate call.

    1. ASSERTIVE

    I have also observed that it has also not been an easy ride for him as he had to deal with some of his own from the political party that made him the candidate president, whose actions sort to undermine his effort intentionally or unintentionally. He had to suspend one  of his crucial ministers Mrs Stella Ndabeni Abrahams who failed to observe the lockdown regulations. There are others who have still not felt the strength of his whip, whose actions were also been found to be questionable. I am impressed by his acknowledgement of the corrupt officials including the police and councillors whose corrupt activities could be interpreted as intentions to undermine the effort not only of the president but of the entire country at this time of the pandemic. Some of the police are already in prison as we speak. He is the mark of an assertive leader as he pronounces how these officials will face the full might of the law. Many people were concerned when the Gauteng liquor board threatened a court action. On Thursday, the president was unapologetic when he announced that liquor stores, shebeens and pubs will remain closed even in stage 4 of the lockdown. He did not seem threatened when he also mentioned that social gatherings will remain prohibited including the churches except the funerals still under the same conditions of stage 5 lockdown. While he had given a reprieve for the smokers, which I had found to be illogical, it looks like he is willing to take that back to the original plan of the ban.

    1. OPTIMISTIC

    It feels good for me as a citizen to be led at this crucial moment by a leader who is as positive and optimistic about the future as he is. Let me remind you of the last words of his speech on Thursday where he called upon the everyone to be courageous, determined, and to be in solidarity with one another to defeat the invisible enemy. He called everyone not to give up, to stay strong and to be united. I have no doubt that many South Africans are feeling as optimistic. I don't doubt that even the international community feels the same as the World Health Organization has also expressed their satisfaction with this country's progress.

    Does the president have the silver bullet for the immediate and solid recovery of the country's economy and health status post COVID-19? Its too early to tell.

    Can South Africans afford to be on a sleep mode and allow the president and his crew to auto pilot the country to a safe landing? Not really. The nation is on lockdown but politics is not on leave. Is the cancer of corruption and selfishness from some of the officials cure when the virus came to the picture? Not really. Soon its going to be the local government elections and while politicians are busy fighting the Corona Virus, the Metros remain a contested terrain and if the citizens slip into the sleep mode, they may wake up to a shock when everything that was contributed by well meaning citizens has been looted for political expedience.

    Back to the main question; are we on the right track? I believe we are. But we must remain vigilant as a country to assist in directing the general effort to the benefit of all citizens. Lets remain positive and optimistic. It is in our best interest to sanitize and keep the social distancing to reduce the impact of this virus. Let's also not be naïve as a nation and put all our trust into man and science completely as this has proven to fail many times. It is also going to be suicidal to put the POWER of prayer side when we could also be calling upon the church to have visible coordinated effort to PRAY FOR THE HEALING OF THIS COUNTRY FROM THE ALMIGHTY GOD who is above any strength of the virus and all threats of human existence.

    The next article will be posted on Monday 27 where we will be looking at my new concept called INSTINCT DECISION MAKING. Feel free to share this article with your friends as well. God bless you!!!! www.maanoramadwa.com


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