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Government paralysis as South African President fails to clearly articulate policy priorities

outh African President Jacob Zuma is facing a crisis of governance. The South African Node cites the political analyst William Gumede, who notes that “during the elections, Zuma had over-promised the different constituencies. Zuma is governing by trying to balance all interests - which on occasion means no policy at all...” The report continues, “uncertainty reigns over where the government stands on policy as every group within the coalition daily issues diametrically opposing policy proclamations. This has led to paralysis in government as senior public servants fear making decisions, lest it alienates the wrong faction."

Implications:

the Institute for the Future writes:

The African National Congress party dominates electoral politics in South Africa. The breadth of the ANC’s constituency forces the party to manage inevitably competing interests in order to remain in power, creating the potential for internal political gridlock. While competitor parties may strengthen as interest groups seek other patrons, the ANC’s historical role in breaking apartheid rule may make the party difficult to dislodge, opening up the potential for continuing policy gridlock.

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