Big business: We will work with whoever's elected president

Johannesburg - Investec bank denied on Saturday that big business is supporting Cyril Ramaphosa for ANC president as delegates gear up to vote for their preferred leaders, in Nasrec.

“We don’t support any candidate, [we are] here to work with government, will support whoever president is, will look to work with him/her on strategic matters of the economy,” CEO of Investec Banking SA Richard Wainwright told Fin24 on the sidelines of a business breakfast which the company sponsored.

Wainwright emphasised the importance of the ANC’s 54th national conference calling it “a very critical stage for the country” and he said they want to engage with government representatives in every possible forum.

ANC MP and presidential hopeful Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told ANN7 TV channel in November that big business had opposed her campaign for the party’s top job.

MD and partner of Goldman Sachs South Africa Colin Coleman on Saturday compared the policies Dlamini-Zuma supports to her rival, Cyril Ramaphosa.

"I believe both candidates have reinforced the concept of radical economic transformation, but have very different views of emphasis and very different views on what kind of state and how it will be managed going forward,” Coleman said.

He added that Dlamini Zuma backs the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank, expropriation of land without compensation, and the nationalisation of the mines but he admitted that she has moderated her views recently.

WATCH: Business weighs in on ANC Leadership Race 

Coleman praised the Deputy President's ‘New Deal’ which plans to grow the economy by 3% in 2018 through a new social compact between government, business and labour.

“And quite frankly, I think people are looking for the balance between how do we grow the economy and how do we transform it. And so you cannot have transformation with our growth. There will be no money to pay for it," Coleman said.

The start to the official programme at Nasrec is running behind schedule but according to the distributed plan, nominations of national officials is expected to be announced this afternoon by elections agency staff and the results of the voting will be declared tomorrow afternoon.

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