By Gugulethu Cele
Leaders in corporate South Africa and business lobby groups have been vocal about their presidential preference in the ANC Elective conference. And what they prefered is what they got.
The election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new president of the ruling party at the ANC’s 54 Electoral Conference, has been touted to boost investor confidence, facilitate increased investment and appease ratings agencies. Ramaphosa won by 2440 versus Dlamini-Zuma’s 2261 – beating her by 179 votes.
A former trade union leader who became a businessman and is now one of the richest people in South Africa, Ramaphosa during his campaign had vowed to fight corruption and revitalize the economy, a message hailed by foreign investors. Despite this, his opposition believes that he is likely to protect white minority capital.
The South African Rand responded favorably to the news and speculation of the Ramaphosa win. The local currency was quoted at R12.57 to the US Dollar immediately after the announcement, from a previous close of R12.96.
Not only has the currency benefitted from the “Ramaphosa rally”. in the run-up to the elective conference, strengthened considerably in the hour before the announcement. From a level of R12.80/$ at 5.32pm, it reached a best level of R12.52 in the moments before the announcement shortly before 7pm. But it later gave
Kaya Bizz spoke to several business executives and leaders to guage what they hope will be addressed by the new leadership of the ruling party.
Alan Mukoki CEO of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, “the ANC is one of the largest and most influential liberation movements on the continent. Its new leadership and the policies that they look to implement will have a signifcantly impact on the future growth prospects of South Africa”
“We need leaders who will be able to direct policy and its implementation to ensure that South Africa is able to reach its growth objectives and curb unemployment,”said Trudy Makhaya , consulting economist at Mercantile Bank.
Makhaya and other economists believe that whilst the ANC led government been able to write positive economic policies, implementation is often where the party falls short.
Whether or not the new leadership is able to instill new confidence has yet to be seen.