Category Archives: President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa & Tito Mboweni

STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA ON POSITION OF FINANCE MINISTER

Fellow South Africans,

Over the course of the last few days there has been much discussion among South Africans on matters that arose in the course of the testimony of Minister Nhlanhla Nene at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

As a consequence of these developments, Minister Nene submitted a letter of resignation this morning in which he requested that I relieve him of the position of the Minister of Finance.

He has indicated that there is risk that the developments around his testimony will detract from the important task of serving the people of South Africa, particularly as we work to re-establish public trust in government.

After due consideration of the evidence presented by Minister Nene at the Commission, and in the interests of good governance, I have decided to accept his resignation.

During his tenure as Minister of Finance, Mr Nene served the people and government of South Africa with diligence and ability.

Under difficult circumstances and often under great pressure, he consistently defended the cause of proper financial management and clean governance.

It is a measure of his character and his commitment to the national interest that he has taken this decision to resign in the wake of errors of judgment, even though he has not been implicated in acts of wrongdoing.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank him for his service to the nation.

In the wake of Mr Nene’s resignation, I have decided to appoint Mr Tito Mboweni as Minister of Finance with immediate effect.

As former governor of the South African Reserve Bank and, before that, as Minister of Labour, Mr Mboweni brings to this position vast experience in the areas of finance, economic policy and governance.

Mr Mboweni takes on this responsibility at a critical moment for our economy, as we intensify cooperation among all social partners to increase investment, accelerate growth and create jobs on a substantial scale.

This moment calls for strong, capable and steady leadership that will unlock new opportunities as we grow and transform our economy.

I am confident that Mr Mboweni will provide that leadership.

Allow me to conclude with a few remarks about the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

It is critical that the Commission has the means and opportunity to effectively fulfil its mandate.

In this process, no person should be above scrutiny, and all relevant and credible accusations of wrongdoing should be thoroughly investigated.

It is incumbent upon any person who may have knowledge of any of the matters within the Commission’s mandate to provide that information to the Commission, to do so honestly and to do so fully.

For the country to move forward, we need to establish the full extent of state capture, identify those responsible for facilitating it, and take decisive steps to prevent it happening again.

Throughout this process, we need to be guided by the values and principles of our Constitution, mindful of the importance of due process, committed to good governance, and determined that, with the support of all South Africans, the Commission of Inquiry will succeed in fulfilling its critical mandate.

Once more, I wish to thank Mr Nene for his tireless service to the country, and wish Mr Mboweni well in his new role.

I thank you.

Minister Edna Molewa

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA ANNOUNCES PASSING AWAY OF MINISTER EDNA MOLEWA

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced, with profound sadness, that Minister of Environmental Affairs Ms Edna Molewa passed away today, Saturday 22 September 2018, after a period of illness.

Minister Molewa passed away at a Pretoria hospital.

“I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Minister Edna Molewa as well as to her colleagues in Cabinet and across all spheres of government who have had the privilege to work alongside an extraordinary leader of our people.

“This is a devastating loss to our nation and to the global community who owe a great debt of gratitude to the late Minister Molewa for her championship nationally and globally for the environmental integrity of a sustainable planet Earth that can be shared and enjoyed by all nations and all people, rich and poor.

“Minister Molewa has distinguished herself in many capacities and causes from her contribution to our liberation to fighting for equality of women in our society. We shall miss her greatly.”

President Ramaphosa has declared a period of mourning with immediate effect and ordered that the National Flag be flown at halfmast at all flag stations countrywide and at South African diplomatic missions abroad.

Details of commemorative events and funeral arrangements will be communicated in due course.

President Ramaphosa, who is due to travel to New York later today for his inaugural participation as Head of State and Government in the United Nations National Assembly, is due to visit the Molewa family in the course of the day.

Media Enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson – 072 854 5707

ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ON LAUNCH OF NEW INVESTMENT DRIVE

In the State of the Nation Address in February, I announced that a central priority for government this year is to encourage significant new investment in our economy.

This is a necessary condition for the growth of our economy and the creation of jobs on a scale that will significantly reduce current levels of unemployment.

New investment in productive sectors of the economy is therefore vital to our efforts to reduce poverty and inequality. Investment in our economy has declined in recent years.

While total fixed investment in our economy stood at 24% of GDP in 2008, it has declined to around 19% last year. The National Development Plan says we need to increase this to at least 30% of GDP by 2030.

Foreign direct investment declined from around R76 billion in 2008 to just R17.6 billion last year
This has been driven by low business confidence and regulatory uncertainty; and has resulted in slow growth, along with poor growth in employment.

Economic conditions in the country are changing, however, and we are determined to work with all social partners to seize the opportunities that are opening up for greater investment and faster growth.

In line with our commitment in the State of the Nation Address, we are therefore launching an ambitious new investment drive. This drive will culminate in an Investment Conference to be held in August or September 2018.

The Investment Conference, which will involve domestic and international investors in equal measure, is not intended merely as a forum to discuss the investment climate.

Rather, we expect the Conference to report on actual investment deals that have been concluded and to provide a platform for would-be investors to seek out opportunities in the South African market.

We are determined that the Conference produce results that can be quantified and quickly realised. We are aiming through the Investment Conference to generate at least US$ 100 billion in new investments over the next five years.

Given the current rates of investment, this is an ambitious but realisable target that will provide a significant boost to our economy.

In preparation for the Investment Conference, I have decided to appoint four Special Envoys on Investment, who will spend the next few months engaging both domestic and foreign investors on the opportunities that exist in this country.

These are people with valuable experience in the world of business and finance and extensive networks across major markets.

I am therefore pleased and grateful that the following South Africans have accepted our invitation to be the President’s Special Envoys on Investment:

– Mr Trevor Manuel, former Minister of Finance,
– Mr Mcebisi Jonas, former Deputy Minister of Finance,
– Ms Phumzile Langeni, Executive Chairperson of Afropulse Group and a non-executive director of several leading South African companies,
– Mr Jacko Maree, Chairman of Liberty Group and former CEO of Standard Bank.

They will be travelling to major financial centres in Asia, Middle East, Europe and the Americas to meet with potential investors.

A major part of their responsibility will be to seek out investors in other parts of Africa, from Nairobi to Lagos and from Dakar to Cairo.

This is part of a broader push by government to advance economic integration in the Southern African region and across the continent.

In addition to the processes we must undertake within the country to finalise our participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area, we will also be pursuing other initiatives to promote intra-African cooperation on investment, infrastructure development, tourism and agriculture.

I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Trudi Makhaya as my economic adviser. Among her immediate responsibilities will be the coordination of the work of these Special Envoys and a series of investment roadshows in preparation for the Investment Conference.

The engagements that we expect to take place will also be part of a process towards the establishment of a Presidential Council on Investment.

This evening, I will be departing for London to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

We will use this opportunity to meet with several major global companies to brief them on recent developments in the country and on our assessment of the economic challenges, risks and opportunities.

We will be communicating a clear and consistent message – that South Africa is an investment destination with significant unrealised potential.

Some of our fundamental strengths are well known. We have a thriving democracy, an independent judiciary and strong institutions. We have an advanced and diverse economy, a sophisticated and well-regulated financial sector, and extensive transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructure.

We also have a youthful population, an improving basic education system and significantly expanded higher education enrolment. In other words, despite the challenges, we are working hard to build our skills base.

We will brief investors on the measures we are undertaking to improve the investment environment.

Further to the announcements we made in the State of the Nation Address, we are making progress in stabilising strategic state owned enterprises, improving the functioning of key institutions like SARS, finalising a new Mining Charter through consultation with all stakeholders, processing legislation for the implementation of the National Minimum Wage and the promotion of labour stability, and launching the Youth Employment Service to increase the employability of first-time job seekers.

In addition, work is underway to rationalise and streamline investment regulations and reduce the cost of establishing and running businesses.

Through the more effective use of industrial incentives, special economic zones and local procurement requirements, we aim to increase investment in manufacturing and related sectors.

We are creating more opportunities for new market entrants through our competition policy, preferential procurement measures and expanded support to small and medium-sized businesses.

After several difficult years, South Africa is emerging as an increasingly attractive destination for investment. We are encouraged by the growth in business confidence over the last few months, the strengthened rand and improved growth estimates.

We welcome the recent assessment by Goldman Sachs that South Africa is at the top of the list of potential candidates to be the “next big emerging market story” of 2018. It notes that the growth cycle is picking up after an earlier downturn in investment growth. It says that improved confidence is likely to lead to a better outlook for growth and investment.

This is confirmed by the South African Economic Update released this month by the World Bank. While the economy’s performance is improving, it notes that higher growth will require ambitious structural policies. It estimates that a successful conclusion of the Mining Charter deliberations, for example, could increase investment in the sector by 25 percent.

It is for these reasons that we are embarking on an ambitious investment drive alongside the implementation of necessary economic reforms.
South Africa has entered a new era of hope and confidence.

The task we have now is to ensure that this becomes an era of investment, growth, job creation and meaningful economic transformation.

I thank you.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA URGES SOUTH AFRICA TO #PRESSFORPROGRESS IN 2018

South Africa joins the international community in observing International Women’s Day today, Thursday 8 March 2018, under the theme #PressforProgress.

International Women’s Day has been a global institution focused on equality for women since it was first observed by the Suffragettes in 1911.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on all South Africans to use International Women’s Day 2018 to decide what they can do in their personal lives, communities, businesses and organisations to advance all aspects of gender equality.

President Ramaphosa said South Africans should dedicate International Women’s Day 2018 to the memory of Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu, whose centenary is being celebrated this year. She was a courageous leader both of the struggle for national liberation and of the struggle for gender emancipation.

“We have a responsibility to the memory of Ma Sisulu and to the many women who walked alongside her to intensify the struggle for gender equality in all areas of life.”

“We must work together to significantly improve the status of women – and especially young women – in the economy, ensuring that we achieve gender parity. Women must be equally represented in the workplace and must receive equal pay,” he said.

President Ramaphosa said society needs to tackle the economic and social factors that prevent young women from completing school and accessing further education. Government will strengthen the support it provides to women entrepreneurs and business people.

President Ramaphosa said the success of society’s efforts to grow the economy and create jobs will be measured in large part by the impact it has on the lives of South African women.

President Ramaphosa said: “South Africa has made great strides since the advent of democracy to advance and affirm women as part of building a non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and united country.

“At the same time, we are confronted with the reality of women continuing to experience discrimination and disadvantage at home and in the workplace.

“The renewal off our country must entail a renewal of societal values that will position women and men alongside one another in a nation of equals. Patriarchy has no place in the South Africa we are building today.”

President Ramaphosa urges South Africans from all walks of life to join the global campaign, #PressforProgress, and play an active part in creating a better life for women in the country and around the world.