Ramaphosa skips WEF to focus on problems at home

Ramaphosa won’t be attending a UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on Monday either.  
President Cyril Ramaphosa faces renewed calls to accelerate the pace of economic reform and in-fighting within the ANC. Image: Jason Alden, Bloomberg

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will skip this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, after a week in which he faced renewed calls to accelerate the pace of economic reform and in-fighting within his ruling party.

Ramaphosa is staying home “to give attention to pressing domestic priorities” and preparations for a meeting between the ruling party and the cabinet, the presidency said in a statement on its website. He also won’t attend a UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on Monday. 

Read: Mboweni laments slow reforms ahead of Davos

South Africa’s main business-lobby group warned this week the government is running out of time to avoid losing its last remaining investment-grade credit rating and must implement economic reforms urgently. That echoed a statement by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on January 10 that he’s frustrated by policy “inertia” within the government.

South Africa’s economy is stuck in its longest downward cycle since 1945, hobbled by power cuts, deteriorating public finances and delays in policy implementation. The central bank on Thursday lowered its growth forecast for this year to 1.2% from a previous estimate of 1.4%.

Eskom, which generates about 95% of South Africa’s electricity, resumed rolling blackouts last weekend, despite assuring Ramaphosa last month that outages wouldn’t resume until mid-January.

The renewed power cuts prompted Deputy President David Mabuza to say on Jan. 10 that Ramaphosa had been misled — an indirect criticism of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is in charge of state enterprises. Gordhan, seen as an ally of Ramaphosa, has faced increasing calls from within the ruling African National Congress to be removed from his post.

Senior members of the ANC allied with Ramaphosa said criticism of Gordhan was an indirect attack on the president.

“The true target of those ANC politicians and their fellow travellers who are leading the attack is President Cyril Ramaphosa,” the so-called ANC Stalwarts and Veterans said in a Jan. 15 statement. “A convergence, or ‘unity,’ of these individuals and organizations is indeed underway and is self-evidently designed to bring about the removal of a president committed to rehabilitating the country’s institutions and eliminating corruption.”

The ANC’s executive council is meeting this weekend to discuss Eskom and other state companies like South African Airways. The cash-strapped carrier may be forced to cut some flights this weekend unless it receives R2 billion ($139 million) from the government.

South Africa will be represented in Davos and London by government and civil society representatives led by Mboweni and International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor, the presidency said.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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He is too scared to go as they will ask him on a progress report on last year’s promises and he has now run out of excuses and dont know how to spin the failures into success any more. Easier to appease the electorate at home with BBB. Bullshit baffles brains

Rhamaphosa and ‘focus’ can’t be used in the same sentence.

Only one way out for SA.

ANC needs to split into the good the bad (Corrupt thieves) and the ugly (Commies and unions).

Unfortunately this has to come from inside the ANC driven by “The good guy’s”. Looks like there aren’t any good “Uncontaminated” souls left in the “Organization”.

Everybody is trying to save something that has turned into the complete opposite of what the intention was. Even so called “Stallwards” keep protecting the thing from splitting.

Can only be because there are no good guy’s left.

Based on his performance as President Ramaphosa has absolutely nothing to offer the WEF at Davos.

End of comments.

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