Join Moneyweb for a post-budget webinar with Dr Adrian Saville, Dr Iraj Abedian, Sizakele Marutlulle and Dr Azar Jammine for further insights on Wednesday, 28 October at 15h30.

Ramaphosa reveals

President says he is pushing for more central control.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: GCIS

So, we learned something about President Cyril Ramaphosa from last night’s question-and-answer briefing with the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef). He listens to talk radio and reads the Financial Times of London.

These minor revelations show he’s more in tune with what’s driving the national conversation than what one would expect, as during his two years as president, Ramaphosa has given the impression that he was far removed from the daily concerns of ordinary South Africans, and that he is too tepid to act with haste when it comes to pushing through much-needed change.

Just a citizen

The exchange with the journalists also bared something else. He may be president, but it does not mean he is all-powerful. The more than two hours of back and forth with Sanef members revealed someone who is as frustrated as any other citizen when it comes to getting apparatus of the state to act with urgency to a pressing need.

When pushed, for instance, on the lack of prosecutions on corruption, he said he has long wanted these cases to proceed at a faster pace but understands the danger that comes with the state president getting personally involved in such matters.

“The day you have a president who will go out and arrest people, prosecute them, and jail them you should run for the hills.”

Although Ramaphosa was deputy president under former president Jacob Zuma, he indirectly laid the blame for SA’s stuttering justice system at he’s predecessor’s feet.

It’s not only the state’s “hollowed out” investigative and prosecutorial functions that frustrate him. It’s the need to engage with state entities he has no direct control over that can hinder the implementation of his agenda.

For example, he announced in February that radio spectrum, which would facilitate high-speed broadband services would be allocated this year. But this was recently stemmed by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) pushing this allocation out to the end of March 2021.

More control 

These kinds of roadblocks have led to him setting up execution structures inside the presidency. Under the usual cabinet setup, ministers generally have free rein when it comes to executing their mandates. Or as he puts it “coordination and implementation must happen from a central point” and that point is the president’s office.

Ramaphosa said this is especially true when it comes to projects that are meant to drive South Africa out of its economic slump. Stats SA recently announced that quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised GDP dropped 51% for the second quarter of 2020 as result of the Covid-19 five week long lockdown.

Read: GDP: As bad as expected

To recover from this slump, the president says the government has been consulting with a range of stakeholders through the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) on coming up with a recovery plan. Ramaphosa said this plan, which is focused on infrastructure projects,  was close to completion and that there are several projects that are “shovel ready”.

Although the government and the private sector, are working well together, it does not mean there are no points of contention. The R200 billion state-backed credit guarantee scheme administered by the banks was, for instance, meant to support small and medium-sized businesses which were suffering as a result of the lockdown. But even though the state would compensate the banks if these loans could not be paid back, only 10% of these funds have been accessed.

“I think it is scandalous that only R18 billion to R25 billion of the R200 billion has been allocated [almost six months later]. The government is prepared to stand behind this money. I’m not saying you should throw money away, but we say support the businesses.”

Even so, he said the country was moving in the right direction and that over the past few years it has steadily been building up capacity to execute its agenda.

“We are painstakingly putting things right.”

AUTHOR PROFILE

COMMENTS   25

Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in to comment.

SIGN IN SIGN UP

Sad and disappointing performance to say the least. 1000 days in power and there is little evidence of any significant economic stimulus, unemployment decline, power supply stability or legal actions to counter corruption.
There is however significant evidence of the rampant growth of corruption and economic downturn.

A good predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour

Talk, talk and more talk

Whilst the ANC is split in two camps, and with the pendulum leaning toward the corrupt Magashule, there can and will be no change

Change starts in the cities and towns

They’re all bankrupt, the roads are filled with potholes, sewage lines blocked, flowing into the streets , traffic lights out of order, public areas and public pools a mess, basic service delivery has come to a complete halt, and the mayors and city managers drive fancy cars and earn millions! It’s sickening

If you cannot manage your Municipalities, how on earth can you expect to govern a country?

No Cyril, start by cutting the wage bill..We know you cannot , so stop with your 1000 days of fairy tales

Where there is a will there is a way!

There doesn’t seem to be that much of a will though!

I live on the coast and yesterday this warm wind came through.

Thought it was a berg wind, ruffling my perfect Tresemme hair but alas just the prez talking….

I too live on the coast and this morning a freezing South Easter is whipping up the sea and sending a chill through the bones.

The actual reality of the situation

A toast to socialism and central planning where the redistribution of resources results in the failure to create wealth.

Ive reread this article twice so that I could try find a glimmer hope however all I find is a man looking for his shadow whilst it deceiving him in the complete darkness.

No computer and or it’s system invented can create a central plan for all the mechanisms to be in such synchronisation and harmony that will plan the constant distribution and redistribution of resources then compute which products people will want to acquire whislt ensuring wealth is created, let alone a single man and or his central planning ministers.

The next 7 years will be tough after we receive the bailout and self correcting.

If you can get your money out whilst it still has some sort of a value or good luck.

Do not believe this man. Under his watch , sent by JZ , Escom became an even bigger disaster. Says it all. Not a clue

The game is already over. What we see are the last sporadic spastic movements. Cyril sure was and is part of the problem.

Mr. President, lay down the law to the ANC party and those that do not comply can leave, so that you can start governing.

So far you have disappointed the confidence that pres. Mandela had in you.

Have the courage to split the ANC, team up with opposition parties and start to govern.

There’s only one kind of good communist…

“…several projects that are “shovel ready”…..

The only thing that is, or will, get shoveled is his BS.

One needs shovels to dig a grave…

So we need shovels??
Why not put it out to tender….

I see a conveyor belt has snapped at Medupi and blackouts are on the cards – what is it that the ANC government follows the same inefficient and ineffective trajectory that Eskom does – both are absolute disasters

The only thing ready for shovelling is what he and his fellow kleptozanians are saying

Wake up people…”Central Control” is the mantra of the marxist anc and eff’s ideology – BEWARE, you will lose your freedom and access to justice if these Pol Pot Khmer Rouge look alike thugs are not removed from their destructive “oversight” of our country, society and economy!

This DUDE did not answer the questions last night.
But did great to avoid:
1.Corruption
2.Corruption
3.Corruption

but did his best to addressed Gender based violence…. we all know why…. its cos you can do f all about it and cannot be measured properly.

Good cop bad cop routine. CR loves to pretend he is the good cop and that anything that goes wrong must be the evil other side of the NEC.

As long as he pretends, we all think we have a hope of some break through. While this carries on so does the plundering.

Summary – another pointless speech, in a long string of meaningless speeches.

Jacob Zuma was a better President.

Clearly our man here is fast asleep at the wheel and his passengers does not seem to recognize he is dreaming.

CR has a very difficult job.
He is a Capitalist who is trying to navigate what is essentially a Socialist country through dangerous times.
He deserves the support of everyone who believes there is a chance of economic recovery based on the amazing resources this country has to offer.
Without hope we are lost. Currently CR is the only hope we have – there is NO alternative.
So stop complaining like a bunch of ninnies and decide to participate or packa de case and catcha de cab!

Cyril the black Putin, will he also rule for 30 plus years ?

Only 10% took those LOANs….not because the banks would not give it, no we are small businesses and the last thing we need after having a few months of next to nothing income is to borrow ourselves deeper into debt, even if it is guaranteed by the state, it still is a loan that needs to be repaid and any way all small businesses that need those loans dont have the time or money to be tax compliant, they too busy just trying to survive.

End of comments.

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR
NEWSLETTERS WEB APP SHOP PORTFOLIO TOOL TRENDING CPD HUB

Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company: