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Ramaphosa lifts businesses spirits, says Koseff

Government must now create a business-friendly environment to boost growth.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is, through his engagement with the business community, instilling confidence in the country’s economic trajectory, says the Investec chief executive.

“If you compare the [current] mood to the mood six months ago or four months ago, we’re in a different country so I do think the South African economy will start gaining traction. There are a lot of initiatives and commitment both from government and business, and hopefully from labour, to create a social contract that is needed in society,” Stephen Koseff said referring to a CEO Initiative meeting with the president and various cabinet members.

Under the auspices of the CEO Initiative, Koseff and Goldman Sachs’s Colin Coleman are leading the Youth Employment Services (YES) Programme geared at proving one million youths with internships over a three-year period. The CEO Initiative was formed by business leaders in 2016 in a bid to work with government and labour to address the country’s challenges.

According to Koseff, Ramaphosa’s engagement with business at the meeting was reminiscent of former President Nelson Mandela in that he has created a totally different mood, one which people really want to help and make a difference. “He understands what the business community is about, he understands how to talk [to them] because he was part of it. He was part labour, then business and now he’s a politician,” he added.  

Ramaphosa’s election as leader of the ruling party last December and president of South Africa last month has already led to a significant improvement in the outlook for the country. The president’s intervention in the controversial mining charter, changes to cabinet and plans to tackle graft and the mismanagement of state-owned enterprises have thus far been well received, with the RMB/BER business confidence index rising to a three-year high in the first quarter.

Koseff said that Ramaphosa’s election was positive for the country but that it is now up to the president and government to create a business-friendly environment, which enables investment. He said a business-friendly environment would enable the economy to grow in excess of 5%, which would lead to the creation of the right type of jobs.

Koseff was speaking after the banking group released a pre-close trading update for the financial year ending March 31 2018. During the period, the bank withstood political uncertainty in South Africa as well as uncertainty over Brexit in the UK, which it said impacted consumer and corporate confidence in both of Investec’s core geographies.  

The banking group said the appreciation of the rand relative to the pound is to have a positive impact on its financial results, with revenue expected to be ahead the prior year and adjusted operating profit in line with the prior year.

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My views: Well said Mr Koseff – I cannot agree more with your view that Mr Ramaphosa must create a business-friendly environment to stimulate growth and job creation, and that he is busy instilling confidence in the country’s economic trajectory.
Which begs the question: When will Investec take note of the Constitutional Court’s ruling (Case CCT 106/16 that came before the Court that almost all claims under section 252 of the Companies act Act 61 of 1973 does not constitute a debt in terms of the Prescription Act 68 of 1969 ?
Your Locus Standi arguments against the Randgold minority shareholders etc, are now history. Some 95 % of their claimants Case 106/16 methinks is now willing and able to sue you, in the ‘’main case’’. In South African corporate history…
I also think that you will remember that Investec tried to oliberate from the records of the court (in North Gauteng High Court), the fact that Investec acted, over a period of years, in collusion with certain parties, to prevent Randgold from recovering, in effect billions of Rand that Brett Kebble and his cohorts stole from Randgold. (see
Unchallenged forensic reports (JLMC), very long in the public domain, show that Investec was one of the beneficiaries of the stolen cash!
To date, the cover-up of Kebble’s frauds amounts to one of the most elaborate obfuscations. Methinks you are also now getting close to your sell-by date – bring it on, the time is now!

Does a business friendly environment include ” Govmund, DO NOT steal from my customers. ”

They cannot invest in my business if you STEAL from them.

Remember Cyril, ” a rose by any other name is still a rose”

Are the financial CEOs in this country high on something? I saw a report by PWC the other day which also felt very positive because of a high probability that the ANC will remain in power well into the future. I cannot understand how these companies can be positive when the average person on the street is so negative about our situation. So much so that it’s not if they are emigrating, but when. I think it is a Brexit type of scenario repeating itself: investors find the possibility of failure so disturbing that they either push the narrative that all’s is well in order to try and change the outcome, or they are in complete denial because they’ve lost touch with the mood of the man on the street.

We could do with 10 more business with the entrepreneurial spirit and ambition of Investec.

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