Ray Hartley Editor: BusinessLIVE

The short answer is: "Everything and nothing." How else do you explain the fact that he enjoys the support of the trade unions - Cosatu has officially endorsed him to take over from President Jacob Zuma - and business. It goes without saying that the gulf between the unions and business in South Africa is wide. Ramaphosa comes from the trade union movement and has worked in big business, so he knows this better than most. The reason that Ramaphosa appeals to both sides is that he offers the possibility of a new social compact, which will shift business and labour from the perpetual conflict of the present to a future of consensus. Ramaphosa frequently mentions this need for a "new social compact" and he has already begun to shape its outlines. Late last year he forged and then announced 'consensus' between business and labour on a new minimum wage of R3500 a month (with exceptions). It was a sign of the fraught times that this announcement was immediately widely contested, but it wa...

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