DAVOS-KLOSTERS, January 23 – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in Davos in Switzerland on Monday, to spearhead the South African delegation at the World Economic Forum (WEF), on the back of a major overhaul at power utility Eskom over the weekend, as the country seeks to put its best foot forward to international investors.
The poor performance and management of state-owned entities, with a number of key institutions at the centre of serious state capture allegations, has been cited as one of the key contributors to sinking investor confidence and the presidency in its statement on Monday, was quick to point out the steps taken to halt the rot.
“South Africa last week, announced a number of measures to strengthen governance and management of its State Owned Enterprises,” the presidency said.
“This is part of an ongoing broader effort to restore confidence in the economy… 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.”
On Sunday, a new Eskom acting CEO, board chairman and board members was announced by the presidency in a bid to stabilise the parastatal.
This followed a meeting between Ramaphosa, President Jacob Zuma, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, who is also the lead minister for the South African delegation in Davos.
The changes at Eskom also come hard on the heels of news that state agencies, including the Asset Forfeiture Unit, has in its sights around R50 billion as a result of investigations into state capture.
The presidency said the WEF forum presents South Africa with a platform to showcase its attractiveness as an investment destination and trade partner, set out plans that are unfolding to secure improved and inclusive economic growth, and contribute to efforts to respond to societal challenges globally.
“The South African Team under the leadership of Deputy President Ramaphosa will utilise the opportunity presented by the World Economic Forum to communicate that South Africa remains open for business and highlight the work that the government, working together with business and labour, is doing to ensure an improved economic outlook and nurturing for a higher economic growth trajectory.”
The statement added that the delegation will also re-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”.
– African News Agency (ANA),