Johannesburg, 15 February 2018 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) welcomes the eventual resignation of former president Jacob Zuma last night and congratulates the ANC leadership for the decisive steps that it finally took this week to precipitate Mr Zuma’s resignation, SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said this morning.
Mr Nyatsumba said that under the Zuma administration, the South African economy was terribly stunted and bled thousands of jobs across many sectors, corruption became pervasive and the country suffered multiple sovereign credit ratings downgrades.
Mr Nyatsumba congratulated the ANC leadership for its eventual decisive handling of the impasse surrounding Mr Zuma this week, and said the ongoing stalemate was not in the country’s best interest.
He said that SEIFSA stood ready to work with the new leadership of the country – with current Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa likely to be at the helm – and other stakeholders to arrest South Africa’s economic and moral decline and to place the country on a new growth trajectory. He said that it would be paramount for the new leadership to take bold steps to ensure that all those alleged to have been involved in corruption are removed from their cushy positions, arrested and prosecuted.
“Mr Ramaphosa and his colleagues face considerable challenges ahead to rid the Government and the public sector of a deeply-entrenched culture of indolence, entitlement and corruption, and to replace these ills with a new culture of hard work and conscientious public service. They have a very important responsibility to reach out meaningfully to the business and labour constituencies and to work with them as indispensable partners for economic growth.
“Like many other business representatives, SEIFSA stands ready to work with Mr Ramaphosa and his team in the best interests of South Africa Incorporated. We look forward to a meeting with them as soon as possible,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
He said that, once elected the new President of South Africa, Mr Ramaphosa would have to:
- Remove from the current Cabinet those arrogant and inefficient Ministers alleged to have been part of the State Capture project or to have been involved in other forms of corruption and malfeasance;
- Reduce the size of the currently-bloated Cabinet and appoint only capable men and women of integrity who will understand that their primary responsibility is to serve the people of South Africa, and not their friends or political masters; and
- Review the Boards of all State-owned companies and ensure that only experienced and suitably-qualified men and women of integrity, with a solid understanding of corporate governance and who can add real value, are appointed onto those Boards of Directors.
Mr Nyatsumba expressed confidence that, unlike his predecessor who was woefully out of his depth in the role, President Ramaphosa – who has combined experience and expertise in labour, business and government and a firm grasp of how the economy works – will know and appreciate the simple facts that it is business that creates jobs, and not governments, and that South Africa is involved in a never-ending competition for foreign investment with many other countries around the world.
“We call on Mr Ramaphosa and his Government to take decisive steps to build business confidence, thereby clearing the way for investment in the economy, job creation and inclusive economic growth.
“We also call on him to move with speed to restore South Africa’s battered image abroad and to make South Africa the kind of country of which our founding father, Nelson Mandela, would have been proud,” said Nyatsumba.
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