To put it mildly, the year 2018 has been an interesting one. Whether it has been a good or bad year for you, there’s no doubt it has been a challenging one for South Africans.
We’ve had a change in president, a technical recession, seen more high-profile names coming forward to detail outrageous levels of corruption during the Jacob Zuma reign, witnessed the looting of the VBS Bank and felt growing racial tensions among a nation that seems divided. Finishing the year with load shedding would have left South Africans feeling tired when thinking about what unfolded in 2018. But we did get a new president in Cyril Ramaphosa.
As a result of the outcome at the ANC elective conference in Nasrec at the end of 2017, Zuma eventually accepted his fate and resigned in February. With the words “I devote myself to the wellbeing of the republic and all of its people, so help me God”, Ramaphosa on February 15 became the fifth democratic president of South Africa, reiterating his call for a “new dawn”. He’s had his hands full, though, trying to not only fix an ailing economy by wooing international investors, but to keep control of his own party ahead of next year’s elections.
Malusi Gigaba, Shaun Abrahams and Tom Moyane, despite digging in their heels for the most part of the year, rightfully made way. Ramaphosa brought back former finance minister Pravin Gordhan as minister of public enterprises and Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister. However, Nene didn’t see out the year after admitting to having visits with the controversial Gupta family, and then resigning.
Former governor of the South African Reserve Bank Tito Mboweni replaced him as finance minister.