Ramaphosa to skip Davos, London summits to deal with urgent issues at home

16 January 2020 - 17:41 By Qaanitah Hunter
Participants gather during lunchtime on the last day of a previous annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland. File photo.
Participants gather during lunchtime on the last day of a previous annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland. File photo.
Image: EPA

President Cyril Ramaphosa will not attend the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, or the annual UK-Africa Investment Summit in London this coming Monday.

He will instead focus his attention on “pressing domestic priorities”.

The presidency has confirmed that Ramaphosa will prepare for the ANC lekgotla taking place on Sunday and Monday, followed by the cabinet lekgotla.

SA would be represented in Davos and London by senior government and civil society representatives led by minister of finance Tito Mboweni and minister of international relations and co-operation Naledi Pandor respectively, said spokesperson Khusela Diko.

Ramaphosa’s administration is facing intense pressure related to the dismal state of Eskom which is expected to be at the centre of fierce debate at the ANC meeting this weekend.

She said Ramaphosa was also preparing to take over as chair of the AU at its summit in February.

Earlier on Thursday, Mboweni announced that he would focus on structural reform in his talks at Davos.

“There is a determination on the part of the SA authorities to implement serious structural reforms. ... These include a determined effort to put state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on the correct path. Those which work must be supported, and those which don’t work must get out of the way,” said Mboweni.

Ramaphosa told the gathering of world leaders last year that he was serious about dealing with corruption.

Davos is often touted as a talk shop but the presidency said Ramaphosa was “confident that the nation will benefit from the participation of the government and civil society delegations in the Davos and London events”.


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