Ramaphosa: SA’s entrepreneurs need to be treated like heroes

By Alec Hogg

Midway into the Zuma presidency, in private conversation, one of South Africa’s most powerful business leaders suggested it was best to ride out the next few years hoping to minimise the damage. I thought him defeatist. It is now clear he was well informed.

Cyril Ramaphosa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Thankfully, that destructive era has well and truly passed. In nine months, SA’s new Number One, Cyril Ramaphosa, has radically changed the narrative. But over the weekend, he took a leap while closing the investment conference. His words surpassed even the most optimistic expectations of long embattled job-creators.

Said Ramaphosa: “We should treat our entrepreneurs as heroes and move away from what we have been fed, where we treated our business people like enemies, called them white monopoly capital and all that. That must end today. Let us see our business people as heroes.”

After what the president described as “nine years of huge damage” a fresh breeze is blowing through the Union Buildings. Investment, and the jobs which flow from it now tops the agenda. Believe it.