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It is quite obvious that President Jacob Zuma did not participate in the CNBC Africa debate in Davos because he knew he was going to be sharply quizzed on his diabolical musical chairs for our country’s finance ministers. He would have had no credible explanation to proffer and the embarrassment for him was going to be acute. He therefore dodged the interview.

That President Zuma has upset Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, is clear for everyone to see. Instead of building bridges and attracting investors to South Africa, the costly trip to Davos made one or two enemies for our country and yielded nothing to crow about.

Under President Zuma things are falling apart socially, politically and economically. He does not have the gravitas of Tambo, Mandela or Mbeki to hold things together and to inspire confidence. He is a leader who is constantly on the back foot. He survives on patronage alone.

In handing out largesse left, right and centre, he has caused the state to borrow extensively in order for him to spend profligately.

When nothing that he offers as a solution works, he speedily comes up with a new five-point plan or a nine-point plan. It is as if the plan is self-executing and will put the country on a path of growth automatically. While Google and others are far down the road on vehicles that drive themselves, Zuma’s dream of the economy piloting itself is unrealizable. Our economy and our country need a gifted leader. Zuma does not fit that bill.

For those in our country who placed blind faith in the ruling party to steer a viable economic course, the next few months will show how mistaken they were. South Africa is reaching a tipping point economically. What beckons is the fiscal cliff. Everyone should see that we are indeed at the edge of the fiscal cliff.

The economic woes we face are many. Eskom wants a higher tariff, farmers face ruin, food prices are escalating; investors are giving South Africa a wide berth, rating agencies are becoming skittish, people are becoming intolerant and impatient and the Chinese economy is running out of steam and depressing our export of commodities: the centre cannot hold.

So long as the tripartite alliance fails to be a single orchestra with a single conductor, we will have cacophony that will frighten away even the bravest of investors. The ruling party is not producing the harmony that attracts investors.

For the economy to grow and for us as a nation to be saved from an economic meltdown, the ruling party must bite the bullet and recall President Zuma. The people of our country must intensify the ‪#‎zumamustfall‬ campaign. While he remains in office the economy remains doomed. He should retire to Nkandla and gaze into the fire pool. Zuma is a liability to this country. He must go.

Issued Dennis Bloem, COPE spokesperson


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