Political uncertainty is no longer a problem, reassures Cyril Ramaphosa
Political certainty is no longer a concern in the lead up to the World Economic Forum (WEF), says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Speaking at a breakfast in Sandton ahead of WEF in Davos, Ramaphosa, who was welcomed with a standing ovation from business representatives, said: "The overriding concern leading up to WEF was political uncertainty. I’d like to believe we now have certainty with the new leadership to take the country forward."
He added that SA was an attractive country for investment but it was imperative to address the issues that stood in the way of investments flowing into the country such as policy certainty, governance of state owned enterprises (SOEs), junk status and SA’s economic recovery.
"We want policy certainty across all platforms. Where there’s been policy uncertainty, we want to work together with the private sector and labour to infuse that certainty."
He explained that in order to have economic recovery, SA’s most important task was to address the challenge of job creation, inequality and poverty.
"Our purpose is to attract investors to come to SA by increasing investor confidence in our country and the key challenges that we face, like being downgraded. We have a mammoth task to get us out of this trench.
"What we’d like to say is SA is open for investment and business," he said.
The relationship between business and the government has been strained since the surprise midnight Cabinet reshuffle in March 2017.
Ramaphosa, who was elected as the president of the ANC in December, is perceived as business and market friendly.
Also speaking at the breakfast, Business Leadership SA (BLSA) CEO Bonang Mohale said the sluggish growth conditions and poor business and consumer confidence levels meant that the government and business needed to bolster their efforts and work together to put the economy on a sustainable and inclusive growth path.
"Our work has been hampered by political and policy uncertainty. The downgrades we’ve suffered could and should have been avoided. Policy uncertainty hampers investment," he said.
"We must be reminded and acknowledge that it was our lack of progress that decided on our creditworthiness."
He added that SA needed to demonstrate tangible change to renew confidence.