President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his first SONA speech on Friday. There is still a lot being finalised – the Gupta’s are on the run, Zuma’s future is uncertain, but, Ramaphosa has already suggested adjustments to the mining charter, encouraged international investment, and highlighted the need to reduce South Africa’s high unemployment rate.
Dynasty Thought – The Dawn of a New President
Is the ANC capable of self-correction? This was the central issue facing the South African political landscape during the years of decay and economic decline during former president Jacob Zuma’s tenure of leadership. A few years ago, R.W. Johnson in his controversial book entitled ‘How Long Will South Africa Survive?’, hypothesised that self-correction was unlikely, that SA would be ultimately forced to approach the IMF cap-in-hand for a bail-out, thereafter regime change would follow.
How close we were to these binary outcomes!
Only one hundred and seventy nine votes separated us from a road towards terminal decline. If 90 delegates had voted differently at the December ANC Elective Conference, it would have been Jacob Zuma delivering the SONA this past Friday.
Where to from now? Since the Conference, newly appointed State President Cyril Ramaphosa (CR) has consolidated his power within the Top 6, the NEC, and the National Working Committee. CR will now harness this momentum to act decisively and positively on policy reform. Expect a Cabinet ‘shake-out’ rather than merely a reshuffle. Thereafter we expect CR will co-opt various experienced and credible confidantes with whom he has worked productively with in the past, to provide valuable input and leadership to the various summits which he has pledged will take place in three months time.
An element of scepticism remains, but despite the numerous steep challenges that lie ahead, Dynasty’s view is that we are once again on the high road that began in 1994 and from which we detoured so badly for many years.
A new dawn is indeed upon us!
- After the sell-off, markets made a significant fightback last week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P500, and Nasdaq indices ending 4.36%, 4.30%, and 5.31% higher, respectively.
- There is no new news coming out of the Brexit negotiations but for an overview of where the negotiations are, follow the link.
- The US dollar found some traction on Monday following last week’s steep fall and managed to hold above a three-year low against a basket of currencies.
- On Friday, President Ramaphosa delivered his first State of the Nation Address. In his speech, there was a focus on investment and economic growth, as well as the need for job creation and transformation. For his full address follow the link.
- Regarding the recent mining charter, Ramaphosa engaged with the Chamber, “to resolve the impasse over the mining charter and to facilitate a process of developing a New Mining Charter that all stakeholders can support and defend.”
- The Gupta brothers are on the run. Atul Gupta has filed an urgent court application to challenge the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) forfeiture unit from freezing R10-million in his bank account.
- The JSE All Share Index traded a remarkable 5.76% higher at the end of last week.
- South African tennis player Kevin Anderson has won the New York Open.
- On Wednesday 21 February 2018, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will be presenting South Africa’s budget speech.