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South Africa to woo investors
January 21, 2018, 1:14 pm

In his first official statement, the newly elected ruling African National Congress (ANC) party president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has promised to resuscitate the country's faltering economy.

The ANC chief, who is the potential successor to incumbent South African President Jacob Zuma, said that the ruling ANC party would implement an economic and social program of fundamental and radical change. He said the government would focus on building an economy that welcomes investors and in which all South Africans can flourish. We will concentrate on “building an economy that benefits the people of our country as a whole rather than just a few privileged individuals and families”, he said.

While promising to implement the ANC’s policies on free education and radical economic transformation, he added that the party wanted “an open and diverse economy that will provide opportunities for all, especially young people and women.”

As president of the ruling ANC, Mr. Ramaphosa, a former business tycoon, is tasked with implementing the government’s free education program and the controversial economic transformation drive that includes redistribution of land without compensation to current owners. However, attempting to ease investor unease over these measures, Ramaphosa said land will be redistributed while meeting the constitutional requirement of redress. He invited investors from all over the world to come to South Africa to invest and help the country’s economy to grow, “so that we can create more jobs, end poverty and reduce inequality”.

In recent years, South Africa's status as the leading African economy has suffered, with ratings agencies downgrading their assessment of the country’s economy and growth projection for the current year at less than two percent. Prevailing political uncertainty in the ANC and President Jacob Zuma's frequent cabinet reshuffles have also pushed investor confidence to an all-time low since the party led by anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela took over the country’s reins in 1994.

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