Ramaphosa commits to reform

Staff Writer | May 18, 2019
The president has told business leaders his new administration is committed to securing economic growth, and land reform.

Implementing the National Development Plan (NDP) ‘so that we can secure economic growth’ would be a key focus of the incoming government, the Presidency said in a statement.

The new administration was also committed to land reform ‘within the framework of the Constitution and the law’.

The statement followed a meeting this week between President Cyril Ramaphosa and business leaders, at which he said his new Cabinet and administration was committed to economic reform. 

According to the Presidency, Mr Ramaphosa said ‘the outcome of the national and provincial elections was a demonstration of confidence in the governing African National Congress’ and that ‘the result expressed the expectation of citizens for a better life, an end to corruption and economic growth’.

The Presidency said the incoming administration would focus on implementing of the NDP ‘so that we can secure economic growth’, and that ‘President Ramaphosa reiterated [the] government’s commitment to a programme of land reform that will unfold within the framework of the Constitution and the law’.

Most informed observers regard the government’s ‘land reform policy’ as a euphemism for undermining Constitutional safeguards and the rule of law. In the business and investor community, undermining such safeguards is seen as a major political and investment risk.    

The meeting Mr Ramaphosa was speaking at formed part of a forum convened by controversial American investment bank Goldman Sachs. The firm has previously been implicated in commodity price manipulation, misrepresenting financial transactions, and secretly shorting its own clients. In 2016, the firm resolved to pay more than $5bn to settle charges that it had sold toxic mortgage-backed securities to its clients – the same securities that triggered the 2009 global financial crisis. According to the then acting US associate attorney general, Stuart Delery, ‘(t)his resolution holds Goldman Sachs accountable for its serious misconduct in falsely assuring investors that securities it sold were backed by sound mortgages, when it knew that they were full of mortgages that were likely to fail’. Goldman Sachs has expressed full confidence in South Africa’s prospects for economic recovery. 

 

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