Ten good things Zuma did not mess up

Over the course of nine years that President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma has been in power he had to do some good things, right? It was an uphill battle, but in the end we found some things that all South Africans would surely be proud of.

  • Though the minister of finance is still to find the money to fulfill this pledge, president Jacob Zuma in late 2017 announced that poor and “missing middle” students would receive free tertiary education
  • Amidst a wave of criticism, including speculation that he would be a Zuma stooge, the president appointed Mogoeng Mogoeng as chief justice of the constitutional court. Mogoeng has proven to be a fearless defender of the constitution and has not stood in the way of landmark rulings, some which have gone against the man who appointed him.
  • While his predecessor in Thabo Mbeki will forever be linked to Aids denialism and the slow rollout of antiretrovirals, Mother-to-child HIV transmission rates have declined dramatically over the past four years, largely attributed to increased life expectancy
  • From being directly responsible for the formation of the Economic Freedom Fighters to giving rise to civil society organisations like the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, opposition to Zuma has undoubtedly fostered democracy through the strengthening of opposition parties and civil society.
  • Using various measures, including income and access to basic services, poverty in South Africa has decreased during the Zuma years, something that is largely attributed to the increased rollout of social grants. At the same time, inequality has increased
  • This one should probably be notched up to Madiba but it was under Zuma’s watch that in 2010 South Africa defied expectations by hosting the Fifa World Cup.
  • The president mixed business with his international relations and, despite a particular relationship with the Gupta family, the Beijing Automobile International Corporation (BAIC) plans to build three of their car models locally, investing R4.3-billion into the Eastern Cape.
  • When Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma became chairperson of the African Union it had much to do with Zuma’s astute lobbying across the byzantine political landscape that is our continent
  • He gave us the word “meandos”. Don’t knock it- you may need it someday.
  • And possibly his greatest accomplishment to date- he got white people to take to the streets and protest.

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