In a country now suffering load shedding along with the economic fallout of a long lockdown, the president’s inner circles are signalling their unhappiness.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of the 150 Days report.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has been in office for almost 1,000 days, 150 of which are marked as his Covid-19 days.

In that time, he has won and then lost the support of a series of kitchen cabinets he uses to take the national pulse and set his course as president.

Ramaphosa does not operate with a single informal cabinet, but draws on concentric networks built up over decades as a politician, trade unionist and businessman.

His networks are from the trade unions, business and the farming community — where he has built strong links with agriculture’s biggest names, because he is himself a farmer.

When Ramaphosa faces an issue or a governance challenge, he activates these networks. This is a strong identifier of his political silhouette as president. But these informal circles of influence, necessary for any good president, appear to be dormant. Perhaps this is because fighting Covid-19 is such a 24/7 job, but the methods of his administration have resulted…

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