On Wednesday 8 May 2019, South Africans went out to the polls to decide on who stirs the affairs of the rainbow nation as for the next five years.
Like many other countries, certain peculiar issues play crucial roles in making this important choice. Unemployment, investment opportunities, land ownership and racial divide still prevails and will set the tone of conversation for the new President.
The candidates are Cyril Ramaphosa of the African National Congress (ANC), Mmusi Maimane of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Ramaphosa is no novice. He lost to Thabo Mbeki in the run-off to the 1997 elections and had served as chief negotiator during South Africa’s transition to full democracy.
The National Union of Mineworkers is another notable achievement of his. An astute businessman, he owns McDonalds South Africa, sits on the board of telecommunication giant, MTN as well as on the board of Lonmin among other business interests.
Ramaphosa has won the trust of the South African business community and investors are eager to engage him. He proved his negotiating skills again by aiding MTN Nigeria when sanctioned by the Nigerian government.
The official opposition led by Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the Democratic Alliance has a truly uphill task, in his quest to unseat Cyril Ramaphosa-but he has some credentials that have been working for him adequately.
Julius Malema is the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters. The 38 year old was the former leader of the Youth Wing of the African National Congress (ANC) in 2012. He has been a staunch critic of former president, Jacob Zuma.
He is confrontational but cannot lay claim to any business experience.
Who will the country’s economic future gravitate towards? The writing is on the wall as the world awaits outcomes.