Ramaphosa arrives in Davos on wave of optimism as renewal beckons

Johannesburg - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa touched down at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Monday afternoon with the wind at his back.

Ramaphosa will lead a boosted high-level government, business and labour delegation at the annual meeting in Switzerland, scheduled from January 23 to 26.

This year’s event is held under the theme 'Creating a shared future in a fractured world' and Ramaphosa will promote South Africa’s renewal and fight against corruption.

His visit comes amid reforms Ramaphosa is instituting to strengthen governance and boost investor confidence, especially at the country’s troubled state-owned enterprises. This includes overhauling the Eskom board over the weekend and forcing executives with a cloud over their heads out to pasture.

“This is part of an ongoing broader effort to restore confidence in the economy,” the South African delegation said.  

“The South African government will continue to act decisively to address challenges at its key state-owned enterprises to restore public and investor confidence and to ensure that they fulfil their economic and developmental mandates.”

Ramaphosa will join various discussion platforms in Davos to develop a response to new strategies towards transforming governance in various parts of the world, the South African government said in a statement.

The WEF Davos forum presents South Africa with a platform to showcase its attractiveness as an investment destination and trade partner. It sets out plans unfolding to secure improved and inclusive economic growth, and contribute to efforts to respond to societal challenges globally.

Team SA, led by Ramaphosa, will exploit the opportunity WEF presents to communicate that the country remains open for business, the delegation said.

The SA delegation will highlight the work the government, working together with business and labour, is doing to ensure an improved economic outlook and nurture a higher economic growth trajectory.

The delegation will emphasise that South Africa has a stable and predictable macroeconomic framework which continues to underpin economic policy, ensuring that the country remains attractive for investment, it stated.

It will also emphasise its plans to transform the economy to ensure job creation and benefit from new investments attracted in partnership with business and organised labour.

Ramaphosa will hold meetings with high-level political and business leaders from various countries.

Team SA includes a broad range of leaders from various sectors of the economy and society, with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba as the lead minister and coordinator.

Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe, Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, Minister of Public Works Nkosinathi Nhleko and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane are also part of the delegation.

Former finance minister Trevor Manuel will also be in Davos, but will represent private sector interests.

A Zimbabwean president will for the first time attend the Davos meeting. The country’s new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa will also attempt to cash in on the goodwill climate towards southern Africa.

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