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Don't Worry. In The Era Of Trump, You Can Expect More Metaphors Than Action.

The world must understand that Donald Trump speaks in metaphors and won’t actually do what he says.

19/01/2017 17:42 SAST | Updated 20/01/2017 06:16 SAST
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A sand sculpture of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is seen at the Bay of Bengal Seas beach at Puri, on January 19, created by sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik, ahead of his oath-taking ceremony on Thursday.

As Donald Trump takes office and becomes the most powerful man in the world, you must not take everything he says literally.

Theo Venter from the North West University School of Business Governance says it's important to understand Trump as an individual to fully grasp the type of leader he is.

"I don't think one must interpret everything he says literally. His whole life has been a metaphor. He ran his election campaign by saying he is a rich man who owns a lot of properties but all he owns is a name," Venter said.

Friday's inauguration will see reality sinking in for the majority of people throughout the world and the United States of America. His election victory surprised many but the results were an indication that emotions and fear don't win elections, votes do.

Despite all the rhetoric that has been attributed to his campaign trail, Venter believes the team that Trump has put together can actually assist him to pull off his daunting task.

"The team he has put together is full of independent thinkers. The team will assist him to get through things. Mr Trump will clearly differ from Barack Obama on social challenges but he will have a hard time establishing himself over the entire population," said Venter.

One of his biggest tests will be building legitimacy. In what will not surprise many, Venter believes Trump will get rid of Obama care and re-launch it under a different name. The rest of the world's attention will be on his foreign policy to understand how his leadership will affect them.

It's not going to be as bad as many anticipate.

"The secretary of state is a very wise man in the oil industry. He knows what's happening on the African continent. The Agoa [African Growth and Opportunity Act] trade will stay but in typical Trump way, he will not shy away from scoring an own goal. I only see a change in policy implementation rather than policy," said Venter.

South Africa will get a glimpse of the type of relationship that will exist with Trump when the new ambassador arrives. US embassy spokesperson Cynthia Harvey said the process would take time.

"President-elect Trump has not named an ambassador to South Africa yet. That process usually takes several months following an inauguration," she said.

She echoed Venter's view on Agoa and said she did not expect that to change. She said they looked forward to strengthening the partnership that exists between the South African and American people, governments and businesses in the years to come.

"We cannot speculate on what his foreign policy priorities will be in this region or around the world. In the weeks ahead, we expect he will communicate more about his agenda. That said, we are optimistic that President-elect Trump and his administration will view South Africa as the long-term strategic partner and friend to the United States that it has been for many years," she said.

In what should allay fears, Harvey said America views South Africa as a key international player and partner that they have worked with in response to health and environmental crises, to promote security and human rights, improve infrastructure, foster trade, and integrate markets across the continent.

"The U.S. and South Africa have a robust economic relationship. The United States is South Africa's third-largest trading partner and South Africa is a key export destination for the United States. Two-way trade in goods topped $13 billion (R177 billion) in 2015," she said.

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