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Ramaphosa must act on corruption or risk losing foreign investment - economists

This follows correspondence from the US, UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, warning that Ramaphosa's investment drive could fail if he does not deal with the those behind state capture, corruption and other crimes.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on 23 January 2019. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - As President Cyril Ramaphosa faces pressure from international leaders to deal decisively with corruption, economists say that he should speed up his action plan or risk losing foreign investment.

This follows correspondence from the US, UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, warning that Ramaphosa's investment drive could fail if he does not deal with the those behind state capture, corruption and other crimes.

In response, the International Relations Department says that government is addressing all concerns raised by investors.

The department has criticised the various nations for contacting the Presidency directly and not going through the proper channels.

However, economist Hardus van Zyl of the University of Johannesburg says that this message has been coming for some time.

"People are not going to invest in a country where you have high levels of corruption. I think it's something, and it comes from big countries that make up about 75% of the total foreign investment in South Africa."

But Iraj Abedian of Pan African Investment and Research Services said that some of these countries have corruption of their own to deal with.

"Germany has had incidences of large scale corruption, including SAP, which has been party to state capture."

The International Relations Department says that the various ambassadors will be summoned to discuss their concerns.