Zuma to skip World Economic Forum in Davos

President Jacob Zuma.
President Jacob Zuma.

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma won’t be attending this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the presidency said on Friday.

Traditionally, South African heads of states have led delegations at the WEF gathering, which brings together the global business elite and top politicians.

Zuma, for example, attended last year's WEF in Davos. This year's gathering takes place on January 17-20.

The presidency said in a statement on Friday that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to lead the South African delegation at Davos.

In its statement, the presidency did not provide reasons why Zuma is not attending the WEF in Davos this year.

Presidency spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa told Fin24 that Zuma had assigned Ramaphosa to attend the WEF, but made no further comment on why this decision was made.

Mamoepa told Fin24 that Ramaphosa also led the delegation to the WEF Africa talks in the Rwandan capital Kigali last year.

Meanwhile, the presidency said other high-profile ministers are expected to attend the WEF later this month.

These include Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies and Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel.

This year, over 2 700 leaders in the public and private sectors are expected to meet at the WEF under the theme "Responsive and Responsible Leadership”.

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