State capture inquiry a positive development - Ramaphosa

Cape Town – The judicial inquiry into state capture is a positive development for the country, and all those guilty of wrongdoing should be brought to book, says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He was speaking at a press briefing at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, alongside Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

“One of the things impeding growth is corruption,” he said. Once the dysfunctionality of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and their weak balance sheets are addressed, investors will find the country an attractive investment destination, he explained.

Ramaphosa said that he had not had the time to see the terms of reference for the inquiry which were released on Thursday, but he explained the inquiry was a positive development.

The inquiry will go into the “depths” of the corruption which is taking place at SOEs. Ramaphosa also highlighted that an independent judge will preside over the inquiry and the process is in tandem with the criminal justice system. This means those identified to have committed wrong will be brought to book, he said.

“The two processes will go ahead. Where wrong was committed, it must be followed through and those responsible for that must be dealt with.”

Ramaphosa also spoke on the efforts being made to deal with investors’ concerns.

“We are open for investment and dealing with the regulatory framework of the country,” he said. This includes resolving the Mining Charter.

“The Mining Charter needs to be discussed thoroughly with key role players, so that we can find a solution to unlock the mining industry for South Africa to benefit from the commodity boom. We do not want to miss out on the commodity boom that is unfolding.”

He went on to say if the charter is holding back investment then it must be dealt with by finding commonality of its purpose and the views of potential investors.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and several ministers spoke to journalists at a briefing on the new direction for Suth Africa, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, on Thursday. (Picture: WEF). 

No money for nuclear

Responding to a question about South Africa’s plans for nuclear, Ramaphosa said that the context needs to be considered. “We have excess power right now, and we have no money to go for major nuclear plant building.”

Ramaphosa said that nuclear plans will be looked at within a broad context of affordability. “If in our discussions we find it does not make sense because we don’t have money, that is the discussion we will have.”

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