JOHANNESBURG, 17 FEBRUARY 2018 – President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inaugural State-of-the-National Address last night was a clear indication that South Africa is on the verge of turning the corner and re-embracing the values that made the country internationally respected under the leadership of former president Nelson Mandela, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said today.
He said the Federation welcomed not only the inspirational, inclusive leadership demonstrated by President Ramaphosa during his speech last night, but especially the fact that he had sent a very clear message that he would do everything possible to reduce the size of our bloated Cabinet, vigorously fight the scourge of corruption and work with all stakeholders to grow the country’s economy.Mr Nyatsumba expressed the hope that President Ramaphosa would mobilise his colleagues within both the Government and the African National Congress to ensure that the impressive commitments that he outlined in Parliament on Friday evening were delivered upon expeditiously.
“When former president Jacob Zuma announced his Cabinet after the 2014 general elections, SEIFSA was the first to raise serious concerns about the bloated size of his Cabinet. While our concern at the time was the fact that Zuma’s Cabinet was one of the largest in the world, we subsequently came to know that a significant percentage of those appointed Ministers and Deputy Ministers then were pliable individuals whose competence and integrity was seriously questionable.
“We welcome President Ramaphosa’s commitments to reduce the size of his Cabinet, to fight corruption fearlessly, to appoint men and women of integrity into key positions in the public sector and, more importantly, to work in partnership with business and labour to revive manufacturing and to grow the economy,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
He added that, during his speech, President Ramaphosa had demonstrated inspirational, unifying leadership of the kind that South Africa has sorely lacked over the past few years.
“After years of increasingly being an international laughing stock, once again it felt good to be a South African on Friday evening,” said Mr Nyatsumba. He urged President Ramaphosa and his Cabinet to spare no effort in their work to reposition South Africa in the international community from yet another typical African country to a desirable, well-led, corruption-free country that would be an attractive investment destination.
Mr Nyatsumba said SEIFSA looked forward to working with the Ramaphosa government to change the fortunes of both the metals and engineering sector in particular and manufacturing in general.