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Ninety One CEO Hendrik du Toit. Picture: SUPPLIED
Ninety One CEO Hendrik du Toit. Picture: SUPPLIED

The CEO of asset management major Ninety One, one of the largest investors in SA’s equity and bond markets, says uprooting corruption and growing the economy should be the top priority for the new administration.

Hendrik du Toit, who presides over a company with R3-trillion in assets under management, told Business Day on Friday that the formulation of a government of national unity — which saw President Cyril Ramaphosa retain his position, with the DA and the IFP also set for cabinet positions was an opportunity to right the ship.

“The people of SA deserve and demand a better life. As we face an economic and societal emergency, we need to reset the trajectory of the country. A government of national unity formed by parties who respect our constitution, for which so many struggled over so many years, is a good beginning,” said du Toit.

“This government should set itself three objectives: to set SA on the path of sustainable and inclusive economic growth, to stamp out the cancer of corruption and to address the dire living conditions of so many South Africans, starting with access to clean water and electricity.”

His comments came as companies with earnings linked predominantly to economic conditions — such as banks, insurers and retailers — added billions of rand in value on Friday after it became clear that the ANC, DA, IFP will form a GNU.

The parties, along with smaller parties also came together to form governments in the key provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. 

Standard Bank’s share price surged 5.58%, while peers Capitec and Nedbank went up 5.36% and 4.28% respectively.

Absa’s stock was up 5.36% on the day, while Investec inched up 1.5%. Insurance firms also rallied on the day.

Sanlam went up 3.76%, while Old Mutual shot up 7.51% and Discovery’s value went up nearly 6%. The country’s largest short-term insurance group, Santam, inched up 0.72%.

Retail major Shoprite’s stock rose 4.51%, while Pick n Pay added 6.14% in value on the day. Spar was flat, while Clicks’ stock went up 2.55%.

Friday’s political events saw the EFF and MK isolated at both national and provincial government levels.

Du Toit said the GNU stood a good chance to make great strides in rebuilding an economy that has not grown anywhere near 5% in the past 15 years.

“This is an exciting opportunity to set our country on a new path, promising a better life for all South Africans. To achieve this will take a huge collective effort from all sectors of society,” du Toit said.

“President Ramaphosa has the ideal opportunity to lead the country towards a future of harmony and prosperity. This is a time for decisive leadership and collective effort. In with the builders, out with the thieves.”

London-based economic think-tank Capital Economics said the GNU with Ramaphosa leading it will likely see his broad policy agenda, centred on fiscal tightening and addressing infrastructure problems, remain intact.

Khumalok@businesslive.co.za

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