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Ramaphosa criticised at WEF Africa for not capitalising on poll victory

Government representatives failed to show up for a World Economic Forum on Africa briefing as the event got under way amid clashes between police and protesters on Wednesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the World Economic Forum Africa event at the CTICC in Cape Town on 4 September 2019. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Government representatives failed to show up for a World Economic Forum on Africa briefing as the event got under way amid clashes between police and protesters on Wednesday.

Demonstrators gathered outside Cape Town’s International Convention Centre to protest the murders of women and children.

GALLERY: ‘Where’s Ramaphosa?’ – Protesters gather outside WEF Africa

The briefing focused on the first 100 days Of President Cyril Ramaphosa's new administration, but government representatives were conspicuous by their absence.

The World Economic Forum’s communications head, Oliver Cann, said while the government had been invited, representatives had to cancel due to scheduling issues.

That left Anne Bernstein, executive director of the independent think-tank, the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE), as the only participant.

Bernstein was critical of Ramaphosa for failing to capitalise on voters’ support in the May elections while acknowledging the progress made on recapturing the state “from looters” and rebuilding institutions such as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and state-owned companies.

“The president should have capitalised on what was in many respects a personal election victory for himself. The ANC ran a campaign with him on all the posters and acknowledging that the ANC itself had to change, and the country had to change, I don’t think he seized that moment.”