Bonang Mohale. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI
Bonang Mohale. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI

There is no time to celebrate the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as President of the country because there are critical areas that need attending to‚ Business Leadership SA (BLSA) said on Thursday.

The organisation welcomed the election of Ramaphosa following the resignation of Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa’s ascension to the helm of the ANC in December had already precipitated renewed business confidence and gains in the rand amid the belief that he will pursue market-friendly policies.

"BLSA believes the election of a new president this afternoon represents a fresh opportunity to focus on the urgent task of growing the economy and putting our people into jobs to address the key challenges of poverty‚ inequality and unemployment, especially among our youth."

BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale called on the new administration to urgently focus on a few critical areas. "Some public services are worse now than they were in 1994. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) used to be our pride and joy‚ but now they are captured."

He said some state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were bankrupt. "We need to address the leadership‚ capital structure and governance issues gripping these SOEs. Now that we have Mr Zuma out of the way‚ and the terms of reference and regulations promulgated‚ enabling the Zondo Commission of Inquiry to be functional‚ we need it to be adequately resourced to begin its work of investigating state capture against key figures in the ANC’s senior leadership and in Mr Zuma’s Cabinet."

Mohale said BLSA stood ready to present its proposal on an emergency socio-economic recovery plan. "In business‚ the incoming administration — hopefully free of dead wood‚ incompetence and those facing corruption allegations — will find a willing and capable partner to help pull back our country from the brink of collapse."

Business Unity SA (Busa) described Ramaphosa’s appointment as a key milestone in the revival of business and investor confidence in SA.

"The positive movement of the local currency following the events of the past few days is indicative of the importance of political certainty, accountability and good governance in advancing SA’s economic fortunes," said Busa CEO Tanya Cohen. "As the business community, we stand ready to work in partnership with President Ramaphosa in creating a conducive environment for sustainable and inclusive economic growth."

Busa said Ramaphosa and his new leadership team, "should immediately occupy themselves with a clear and practical programme of action that will redress the country’s declining fiscal and macro-economic position". According to the organisation, the forthcoming budget is expected to be extremely challenging and underscored the need for competent, credible and capable administration.

Busa added that the new administration needed to take decisive steps to strengthen business confidence to boost investment, along with job creation and transformation. Said Cohen: "We are under no delusions that the hard work to restore our economic fortunes as a country starts now."

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