Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa told investors‚ captains of industry and civil society on Wednesday night that the economy was under strain but there is hope for South Africa.
He was speaking at a Black Business Council economic recovery engagement dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton‚ Johannesburg.
Ramaphosa said although the country was going through a critical time‚ with the economy under stress‚ that there was still hope.
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“There are difficulties but there is also progress. There is hope that resides in the hearts of South Africans for a better tomorrow‚” he said.
“This country‚ despite what is happening‚ has not come to a standstill and we are working to resolve the issues facing the country‚” he added.
Government‚ he added‚ would not allow any individual‚ grouping or family to capture the state.
Speaking about the country’s recent economic downgrade‚ he said that newly installed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba was on his way to Washington in the US to meet investors and assure them that the South African economy was intact.
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“Despite the downgrade and the silly season there is still a lot of collaboration between business‚ labour‚ government as well as society‚” said Ramaphosa.
Black Business Council president Danisa Baloyi urged the deputy president and the government to implement “radical economic transformation” immediately. Baloyi also stressed the importance of funding and support for small businesses in order to ensure inclusive growth.
Ramaphosa said‚ “Radical means it must be quick‚ there must be change and something must happen immediately and transform the economy to serve all our people.”
He said the term radical economic transformation needed further definition.
“Those who dismiss the term need to smell the coffee because the economy has transformed and will transform. There is nothing wrong with radical economic transformation‚” said Ramaphosa.