Strategic communication has a significant and often overlooked domestic dimension. In states facing precarious power arrangements, strategic communication is critical to commanding the internal strategic environment. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is currently facing the task of reforming a government weakened by years of corruption under the leadership of former president Jacob Zuma—Zuma’s rule is best characterised by the term ‘state capture’. Ramaphosa’s challenge is to balance and lead two seemingly opposing centres of power. His leadership requires compromise and consensus; it requires a creative approach. Ramaphosa embodies national values to inspire trust and to persuade the citizens of South Africa to adopt his vision as theirs, forging a collective will to achieve national goals. This article examines Ramaphosa’s strategic approach to leadership, adding to the understanding of how strategic communication can be exercised domestically. 

KeywordsSouth Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, domestic strategic communication, strategic communications, social compact, presidential style 

About the Author 

Dr Klaus Kotzé is the AW Mellon-UCT postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Rhetoric Studies, Law Faculty, University of Cape Town. His work advances deliberative democracy in South Africa and discerns the strategic use of communication in evolving global affairs. 


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