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SA's economic fate rests with Ramaphosa - economists

Economists say that 2018 will be a waiting game to see whether new ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa can and will act on his promises.

Newly appointed ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa on 18 December 2017. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Several top economists agree that the fate of the nation's finances now rests on Cyril Ramaphosa's shoulders.

South Africa has been stuck in a persistently low growth environment made worse by a lack of investor confidence.

Many blame that on President Jacob Zuma and the scandals that have characterised his presidency.

The axing of the former Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene cost the economy billions of rand.

Zuma’s Nkandla scandal had a knock-on effect on investor confidence and revelations of state capture did nothing to help matters.

Econometrix chief economist Dr Azar Jammine says that the future now rests on Ramaphosa, the newly elected ANC president.

“He’s had a commitment to root out corruption and state capture. Secondly, his economic policy doctrines [are] very much embedded in the national development plan.”

But Jammine is cautious, given the clear differences in the makeup of the ANC's top six and the national executive committee (NEC).

“But the big question that everyone asks is whether he’ll be allowed to execute such policies. Half of the top six are actually still perceived to be in the Zuma slate.”

Economists say that 2018 will be a waiting game to see whether Ramaphosa can and will act on his promises.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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