Business community congratulates Ramaphosa on winning ANC's top job

Business leaders are expected to react to Ramaphosa being voted into the governing party's new leadership during the next breakfast briefing this morning.

Newly elected ANC deputy president David Mabuza and new party leader Cyril Ramaphosa on 18 December 2017. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The business community has started reacting to Cyril Ramaphosa's election to the African National Congress (ANC)'s top job.

Business Leadership South Africa and Nedbank have congratulated Ramaphosa, saying they are ready to work with the new team to develop all sectors of the economy.

Nedbank has urged Ramaphosa to address the escalating levels of corruption in the private and public sector.

Business leaders are expected to react to Ramaphosa being voted into the governing party's new leadership during the next breakfast briefing this morning.

While the rand has strengthened since Monday and the markets priced in a Ramaphosa win, the Progressive Business Forum will have its say about what the change in guard will mean for the economy.

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel will deliver the keynote address at Tuesday morning's briefing.

Patel is expected to assure business leaders about government’s plan to boost the economy.

Earlier this month, Patel announced proposed changes to the country’s competition legislation which aim to open up markets to new small businesses, particularly black-owned ones.

Members of the Progressive Business Forum have also traditionally been addressed by the ANC’s treasurer-general.

So today they may hear from newly-elected Paul Mashatile.

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THE RAND STRONGER

The rand continues to trade below R13 to the US dollar as markets cheer Ramaphosa’s appointment.

The local currency strengthened to a nine-month high after the announcement.

In the run-up to the announcement, the rand rallied to levels below R12.60 to the US dollar as the market remained confident that Ramaposa would take the top spot in a tightly contested race.

Ahead of the conference, the market had priced in a Ramaposa win with the local currency already staging a recovery.

The market view him as a friendlier candidate who is expected to fight corruption, lift business and consumer confidence as well as implement the necessary policies to revitalise the ailing economy.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)