JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua)
-- There is still possibility
for South Africa to avoid universal junk status if the
right economic decisions are taken by the country’s new
leadership, a local senior economist said on Thursday.
University School of Business and Governance Professor
Raymond Parsons said the departure of President Jacob
Zuma and the anticipated accession of Deputy President
Cyril Ramaphosa “paves way for better economic
prospects” for the country.
resigned on Wednesday evening after being recalled by
his party on Tuesday.
resignation marks the end of a period of “political and
policy uncertainty” in the country regarded as Africa’s
economic powerhouse, Parsons said in Johannesburg.
in the top leadership of government creates the prospect
of higher economic growth and employment, supported by
policies which are growth-oriented, rather than
patronage-driven, Parsons said.
certainty needs to be restored to the economy. This
could be cumulative, just as its decline has been, and
therefore beginning the process through political change
is half the battle,” Parsons said.
it is now “still possible” for South Africa to avoid
universal junk status if the right decisions are taken
to stabilize the country’s public finances and promote
growth in the forthcoming budget expected on February
budget needs to rest on the foundations of new
leadership and political stability if the economy is to
be successfully turned around,” he said.
state capture and widespread corruption have sapped
South Africa’s economic performance, hence much higher
growth and investment levels are necessary if South
Africa is to successfully address the continuing
challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
country’s rand has continued to react favourably to the
latest political outcomes which, “if sustained, will
reduce inflation as well as inflationary expectations,”
Parsons said. This might encourage the South African
Reserve Bank to lower interest rates later this year, he
political developments could now restore business
confidence in ways which might lift South Africa’s
growth rate closer to 2 percent in 2018/19.
political leadership has come new hope but it needs to
be backed by real reforms which will boost SA’s economic
performance sooner rather than later, he said.
Profile: South Africa’s
new president Cyril Ramaphosa
BEIJING China (Xinhua) --
Cyril Ramaphosa, the fifth and
current president of South Africa, took office Thursday
in a parliamentary vote. He is preceded by Jacob Zuma,
who announced his immediate resignation late Wednesday
on orders from the ruling African National Congress
(ANC). Below is the profile of the new president.
running for deputy president of the ANC last year,
Ramaphosa advocated anti-corruption, building a clean
government, and prioritizing economic growth, job
creation, education promotion and land reform.
was born in Soweto, Johannesburg on Nov. 17, 1952, as
the second of three children in his family. In the
1970s, he was imprisoned many times for his crusade
obtaining his degree in law, Ramaphosa joined the
Council of Unions of South Africa (CUSA) as an advisor
in the legal department in 1981, and became the first
secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers a year
elected as the first Secretary General of the ANC in
1991, became head of the negotiation team of the ANC to
negotiate the end of apartheid with the National Party
government, and participated in the drafting of the
South African constitution.
On Dec. 17,
2012, he was elected as deputy president of the ANC, and
served as the deputy president of South Africa from 2014
positions, Ramaphosa is known to be one of the richest
people in South Africa, with an estimated net worth of
more than 450,000,000 U.S. dollars. He has appeared in
news media such as Forbes Africa and Bloomberg.
South Africa parliament
elects Cyril Ramaphosa as president
JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua)
-- Cyril Ramaphosa, leader of
South Africa’s ruling party, the African National
Congress, was elected Thursday by the National Assembly
to be the nation’s new president.
came after former president Jacob Zuma announced his
resignation on Wednesday night. Ramaphosa also becomes
the fifth democratic president of the Republic of South
like to thank all members of this Assembly for the
honour you have bestowed on me to serve my people. This
is truly a humbling experience,” Ramaphosa said when
addressing the house after the election.
to “execute that task with humility and dignity”.
of the president will make way for the State of the
Nation Address to be delivered on Friday.
Africa speaker of parliament, Baleka Mbete commended
former president Jacob Zuma for his work, and wished him
and his family well in “his future endeavours”. She also
thanked the people of South Africa “for their patience.”
Ramaphosa, I wish you all the best, but I will see you
in 2019 on the ballot boxes,” said Mmusi Maimane, leader
of the opposition party, Democratic Alliance.
Ramaphosa delivered a minor rebuke to Maimane. He said
amid ANC caucus applause, Maimane should consider
leaving talk of 2019 aside and focus on working together
now. “This shouldn’t be an opportunity to grandstand,”
said he will outline steps on Friday during the SONA to
deal with corruption and state capture.