South African president promises to embark on economic reforms
President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged that his government will focus on economic reforms in order to unlock the economic potentials and create jobs in South Africa.
In a discussion with Goldman Sachs for Sub Saharan Africa CEO Colin Coleman on Wednesday in Johannesburg, Ramaphosa said fixing the economy first would solve other pressing problems.
“The key problem we have as a country is low economic growth, everything revolves around the economy. We need to focus on ways of revitalizing the economy, the key mandate is to create jobs,” he said.
Since Ramaphosa was elected as ANC president, economists have been saying South Africa must clarify its policy stance.
The president said that policy certainty is crucial in attracting investors and dealing with other bottlenecks hindering investment.
Ramaphosa said reforms would be implemented at struggling state-owned enterprises such as power utility Eskom, adding that the company was being structured and the government could not allow it to collapse.
“Load shedding is over. Eskom is the only company in the history of South Africa to have debt of 430 billion Rand ($30.3 billion). Eskom is too big, important to fail. If Eskom fails, the economy will fail,” he said.
“We will precede and clean up Eskom. At fiscal level, we must be able to reduce expenditure,” he said.
He told delegates that a policy unit which existed under former President Thabo Mbeki would be revived to ensure that policies are successfully implemented. This policy unit would fall under Presidency.