Banking association 'ready to respond' to Ramaphosa’s SONA call

2018-02-17 15:30
President Cyril Ramaphosa with First Lady Tshepo Motsepe sing along to the national anthem. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

President Cyril Ramaphosa with First Lady Tshepo Motsepe sing along to the national anthem. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

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Cape Town – The Banking Association of South Africa have said they are ready to respond to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call in the State of the Nation Address, to work with other stakeholders towards the recovery of the economy and country.

Managing Director of BASA, Cas Coovadia, said the association joined the widespread applause for Ramaphosa’s maiden SONA address.

READ: Ramaphosa promises corruption crackdown at maiden SONA

“The address was statesmanlike and set out a vision of a prosperous, inclusive, united South Africa, with an ethical leadership that serves its people.”

“The speech will go a long way to creating policy certainty and encouraging domestic and foreign investment, necessary for inclusive economic growth and job creation,” he said.

Coovadia said the association was relieved by Ramaphosa’s commitment to building a society “defined by decency and integrity, that does not tolerate the plunder of public resources, nor the theft by corporate criminals of the hard-earned savings of ordinary people”.

Effects of corruption must be tackled

“We must urgently correct the erosion of the capacity of the state and institutions of governance, so that we can effectively achieve the programme set out by the president,” he said.

Coovadia also welcomed Ramaphosa’s commitment to look at the structure, number and size of national departments and to ensure a capable state.
 
“We will play our part in the proposed investment conference and the work groups and commissions on pressing national issues like economic growth, youth employment and the digital industrial revolution.”

“These will help formulate practical policies that can be implemented and help build an economy geared for our current realities,” he said.

Coovadia said it was vital that government followed through on the commitment to stabilise and revitalise state-owned enterprises, by appointing capable board members; removing board members from any role in procurement; and developing alternate funding models for state owned enterprises in serious financial trouble – Eskom foremost among them.

Banks can assist in distributing social grants

Coovadia said Ramaphosa’s commitment to abide by the rulings of the Constitutional Court in relation to the SA Social Services Agency and the distribution of social grants.

“South African banks have repeatedly said that that they are willing and able to ensure that social grants are legally distributed to their beneficiaries, within the terms of the Constitutional Court hearings.”

“We hope that the way is now clear for a transparent, honest engagement between the banks and the SASSA and Department of Social Development,” he said.
 
Coovadia said BASA would be a willing partner with the president on land reform, economic inclusion and transformation, among other critical areas.

“We hear his echo of Thuma Mina by Hugh Masekela and want to be among the first to answer the call,” said Coovadia.

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