President Ramaphosa’s re-election brings continuity, stability, policy certainty – Mteto Nyati

The ruling ANC has elected its top seven officials, with President Cyril Ramaphosa winning the top position again, this time with a bigger margin than he achieved in 2017. His appointment has been welcomed by financial markets with the local currency strengthening against the dollar, pound and euro. Mteto Nyati, CEO of BSG, a business and technology consulting company, told BizNews he welcomed the continuity, stability and policy certainty that the re-election of President Ramaphosa has brought about. Also, a change at presidential level in the ANC, he said, could  have destabilised the efforts being made to turn Eskom around. – Linda van Tilburg

Ramaphosa understands the urgency of addressing governance

When we look at it from a business perspective, some of the things that we’re interested in are continuity, stability and policy certainty. If there are good things that someone has been doing, it is very important that those things continue. If you bring new players into the equation, there is the risk that things can be derailed or even pushed aside. The good thing now we have Cyril back as the president of the ANC is that there’s going to be continuity. I can also say, judging from some of his statements before the election, it looks to me like he really, really understands the urgency required for this country to move forward on things like improving governance and addressing things like corruption and addressing some of the failures in the state owned enterprises. So, when you’ve got somebody who already understands that we need to be moving fast and indeed we have to move fast in order for us to save this economy, it can only be a good thing. So, from our perspective, we just feel that this is a positive thing for South Africa and certainly good for business in South Africa.

New ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile’s outlook is pro-business  

The good thing is that Paul Mashatile was treasurer general in the previous Top Six and now he is coming in as the deputy president and his outlook generally is very much pro-business. Some of the work that he has done in Gauteng demonstrates how much he understands the key role that business plays in terms of society and so that for me is a positive. To have a deputy that is fully aligned from that perspective is good. The big issue in the past was the role of the secretary-general or of the ANC, who has ended up now having to step aside. This is somebody that is able to rally the organisation in the absence of those working in government. If there is not an alignment between the president and that individual, you can have real challenges and you end up with key initiatives not being driven with the passion they need.

Ramaphosa can rely on Mbalula and Mantashe

 Fikile Mbalula has always been on the side of the president and is somebody who’s been really, really passionate about some of the president’s renewal drives. To have him as the general secretary of the ANC is also very positive. 

The delegates at the conference also decided that they wanted to continue to have Gwede Mantashe as chairman, so there’s continuity there as well. You may have seen it just before the election that there was voting in Parliament. The person who was working alongside the President, helping and channeling and mobilising ANC resources was Gwede Mantashe, somebody I think the President continues to rely on when it comes to some of the difficult issues the government sometimes faces. To have him again, somebody that is there, somebody that you trust being part of your team, can only be a good thing.

On whether a change of ANC president could have destabilised Eskom recovery

I think a change at presidential level in the ANC may have destabilised the efforts that have been made to turn around or recover Eskom. The fact that there has been no change at that level, means that the initiatives that are currently being driven in particular by the team within Eskom are likely to continue and that can only be a good thing for Eskom and South Africa. We need stability. We need to make sure that the solutions that are implemented over time, not chop and change. And every day you see changes but stability is required. People have quite different views and we do not expect them to be saying the same thing, but at the same time, as long as there’s respect for governance in Eskom, that is something that is appreciated.. 

On who could be the next Eskom CEO

I’m not a spokesperson for Eskom. I’m not even going to try to speculate who may take the job. We appreciate the fact that AndrĂ© is staying until the end of March. That’s good that we have that. It gives some time for them to be able to go out in the market, you know but I can’t comment about any replacement.

South Africa has overcome challenges before – all stakeholders need to put their shoulders to the wheel

The key was to match change at the top and this is what we have seen has happened. We appreciate what the delegates of the ANC have done and now it is going to be a matter of all of the stakeholders putting their shoulders to the wheel and making sure that we get our country out of the challenges we are facing. As long as we are aligned, as long as we talk to one another, there is always going to be the possibility of getting ourselves out of the challenges we face as a country. We have faced many, many challenges as a country. And it’s only when we reach out and listen to one another that we are able to overcome them. We have done so in the past, and I think we can continue to do so if we respect and listen to all of the key players. 

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