CAPE TOWN - Suddenly relieved of the logistical nightmare that usually accompanies the State of the Nation Address (Sona), Capetonians have weighed in on the public debate over the future of embattled President Jacob Zuma.
Residents of the Mother City are keen on a new president, although many differ on who that should be, or how the current president's exit should be managed.
Perhaps the most outspoken of those interviewed were the Adderley Street flower sellers, who complain annually about the impact Sona has on pedestrian traffic and subsequently on business. They've seen many a Sona pre- and post-democracy and yearn for a president who will stop and smell the flowers.
"Zuma must go. He has to go, whether he resigns or is fired. Our next president must be a man with morals, with integrity," said Edmund Joseph, 56, who has been selling flowers since his teens.
"The government must start thinking about us, not themselves."
Another flower seller, who identified herself only as Sandra, said as far as she was concerned "anybody but Zuma" should lead the country.
"He must just get up from that seat. Mbeki got out of the seat, why can't he?" asked Sandra, referring to former president Thabo Mbeki's resignation after the ANC recalled him in 2008.
Many other vendors said they were more concerned about the water shortage in Cape Town and wanted nothing to do with politics.
Simba Lumbe, a city office worker, said the current political climate was not good for the country.
"Uncertainty has to be the worst kind of enemy you can have against investors, both local and international. I think that at the rate we're going, we're going to create a constitutional crisis if something proactive doesn't happen soon," he said.
Lumbe said the better scenario would be Zuma stepping down voluntarily. If this did not happen, the ruling party must handle the situation carefully.
"I think due process needs to be followed in the interests of fairness and securing the country's future," said Lumbe, adding that whoever followed in Zuma's footsteps should have integrity.
Nonhlanhla Mntoninzi agreed, adding that the ANC needed to deliver on its promise of unity.
"They did promise unity after the December elective conference and somehow it's just not happening. I think that Zuma should do the right thing and voluntarily step down and let the remaining leadership of the ANC take the necessary steps forward," she said.
For Mntoninzi, Zuma's successor should be on the side of the ordinary South African -- someone who does not neglect the "true needs" of citizens.
"For me personally, I want someone who is not selfish... who thinks about the ordinary South African who is still struggling with poverty and unemployment."
Malibongwe Kula, 25, from Knysna, said he while he would like to see Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa succeed Zuma, he was a bit skeptical.
"Everything about Zuma is just wrong. What good has he done, especially with all these scandals that keep popping up?.
"The rand is looking up now, so I like Cyril. But under him the gap between the rich and poor may increase. It's a win-lose, but I hope he's going to treat the economy like a business, like what Thabo [Mbeki] did," said Kula.
African News Agency