World Economy

South Africa to Target Investment, Graft

South Africa to Target Investment, GraftSouth Africa to Target Investment, Graft

South Africa wants to attract foreign investors to help it kick-start economic growth and eradicate poverty and will crack down on corruption, the new leader of the ruling African National Congress said on Saturday.

Cyril Ramaphosa, who won the tight race to succeed President Jacob Zuma as ANC leader last month, also said that he would make fighting corruption a priority in a speech to mark 106 years since the founding of Africa’s oldest liberation movement, Reuters reported.

South Africa’s economy has slowed to a near-standstill during Zuma’s two presidential terms, as allegations of influence-peddling in government and mismanagement of state-owned enterprises have dented consumer and business confidence.

But Ramaphosa’s election win has injected a sense of optimism that the ANC, which has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, could win back the trust of voters and investors disillusioned with Zuma’s rule.

“South Africa is open for investment and we invite all investors from all over the world to come to South Africa to invest in our country so that we can grow our economy, create jobs, end poverty,” Ramaphosa told tens of thousands of cheering ANC members in a stadium in the Eastern Cape province.

“We must have an economy that offers policy certainty and addresses areas that inhibit investment, growth as well as social inclusion,” said Ramaphosa, 65, a former trade union leader and one of the country’s wealthiest businessmen.

The new leader vowed to crack down on the corruption that has weakened the ANC in a new push to end inequities that haunt the nation more than 20 years after the end of white minority rule. “Billions of rands have been illegally diverted to individuals,” Ramaphosa said.

There has been widespread speculation that Ramaphosa and his allies are lobbying ANC members to oust Zuma as head of state in the coming weeks, but he made no mention of Zuma’s future.

Zuma’s second presidential term doesn’t officially end until 2019 when national elections will be held, but he could be removed early through a motion of no confidence in parliament or at a meeting of the ANC’s national executive committee.

Zuma has denied allegations that he has allowed his friends to influence the appointment of cabinet ministers.

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