Despite Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s optimism that he might win back the hearts and minds of foreign investors in Davos, Switzerland, a political analyst says his efforts could fail because of uncertainty about President Jacob Zuma’s future.
Analyst Andre Duvenhage said investors could also worry about the planned implementation of radical economic transformation, the expropriation of land without compensation and violent protests in the country.
Ramaphosa pledged yesterday that during his visit to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this month, he would invite international investors to buy into South African businesses. His main task at the WEF would be to increase investor confidence in the country’s economy. “Yes, we have been downgraded, it’s going to be a mammoth task to get us out of this trench. But working together, I would like to believe that we can,” he said. But Duvenhage said it was too early for the new ANC leadership to change the direction of the South African economic ship.
The analyst cited the uncertainty over how the ANC would deal with Zuma’s political future and his corruption charges, discomfort over the planned implementation of radical economic transformation and expropriation of land without compensation, and violent protests. Ramaphosa told a Davos briefing in Johannesburg yesterday that the NPA had to do more about corruption.
“The freezing of assets is an important component of that, but we want to see much more,” he said. “A message that we are taking to Davos now will be that we are deadly serious about addressing corruption. We’re now beginning to see the steps that are being taken,” Ramaphosa said. The new ANC president promised to lure investors and increase their confidence in the South African economy, leading to economic recovery.
But Duvenhage said nothing would change yet as far as investment was concerned. “The change of the direction of the ship as big as the South African economy is not going to take place overnight,” he said.