Ramaphosa's Davos strategy in five telling quotes

16 January 2019 - 11:42 By Odwa Mjo
President Cyril Ramaphosa told the South African team headed for Davos to show a united front and paint a positive image of the relationship between government, business, labour and communities. He was speaking at a pre-Davos breakfast on Wednesday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa told the South African team headed for Davos to show a united front and paint a positive image of the relationship between government, business, labour and communities. He was speaking at a pre-Davos breakfast on Wednesday.
Image: Gallo Images

President Cyril Ramaphosa held a breakfast meeting in Johannesburg on Wednesday to prepare team SA for the 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

The theme at the forum this year is Globalisation 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

About 3,000 participants from government, business, civil society and academia will gather in Davos from January 22-25. 

Ramaphosa briefed the team about the expectations and issues that SA will address at the WEF. 

Showing a united front and painting a positive image of the relationship between government, business, labour and communities is at the top of Ramaphosa's list as the team heads to Davos. 

"My take is that we're going to Davos on a firm footing. Our engagements in Davos should be based on putting a very positive message to the  investing world," he said.

Here are five important topics he touched on.

Economic growth 

"This year we're going to Davos amid difficult economic challenges. Challenges that I think we will be able to handle."

Eskom

"We're confronted by the Eskom challenge once again but this time around we are taking steps to address the challenge in terms of the processes that we are involved in."

Ramaphosa in December set up a task team to handle the power utility's financial and administrative woes that have left Eskom R419bn in debt. Ramaphosa also mentioned Eskom's application for a 15% tariff hike as one of the issues. 

Government institutions 

"We are addressing a lot of issues. We're stabilising a number of government institutions."

Ramaphosa mentioned the appointment of new NPA head Shamila Batohi as one of the major steps the government has taken to fix its institutions. 

He said applications for a new commissioner of the revenue service (Sars) are well under way and that the applications are at the evaluation stage. 

Investment 

"The richness of the collaboration between business and government is what we can showcase in Davos," the president said. 

Ramaphosa placed emphasis on painting a positive image of SA for investors at the forum. He added that a second investment conference may be possible towards the end of 2019. 

The Reserve Bank 

Ramaphosa made assurances that the Reserve Bank will remain independent after the ANC stated in its manifesto last week that monetary policy must take into account employment and economic growth. 

"This I can say without any equivocation, the independence, standing and the role of the Reserve Bank is sacrosanct and will remain independent. There should be no debate about that," reported Business Day.


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