Cape Town – While Cyril Ramaphosa will be a very effective communicator with business and investors, we do not think policy wise it’s a given that he will be investor friendly.
So said Nomura’s emerging markets economist Peter Attard-Montalto, following the announcement of Ramaphosa’s appointment of deputy president on Sunday.
Montalto said a black economic empowerment economy (the world Ramaphosa comes from) is very different from a free market (private) business economy that would be growth enhancing.
According to the Sunday Independent newspaper, an informed source said the business tycoon’s main role would be to run the economy and restore investor confidence in the country.
He would also continue his mediation duties in war-torn countries such as the Central African Republic and South Sudan.
Ramaphosa is an astute negotiator and politician and co-founded the National Union of Mineworkers. He also played a key role in the negotiations that ended apartheid rule and helped draft the country’s constitution.
He quit politics in 1996 when Thabo Mbeki beat him to the position of deputy under Nelson Mandela.
However, Ramaphosa remained loyal to the ANC and his popularity among the members remained intact.
In his take on Zuma’s new cabinet announced on Sunday, Montalto said the overall flavour of the changes to Zuma’s cabinet is to say the least odd and seemingly more political than practical – “keeping Zuma loyalists close at hand with little acknowledgment for ministers who were doing well to stay put, or replacements being strongly suited”.
To underline this, he said he sees Susan Shabangu’s move from mining minister to a new women’s ministry in the presidency as an effective demotion, “given the conflicting mandate and lack of power such a position will have”.
She is replaced by Ngoako Ramatlhodi who was former deputy prisons minister.
“We have some strong concerns about him as he, as a closer Zuma loyalist, has been responsible within the ANC for selling the post-Mangaung vision of a ‘second democratic revolution’ which involved an increase in state control of the economy and may be someone who is willing to more actively utilise the new discretionary powers available in the MPRDA Amendments Act.
“That said, as he hasn’t held a top job before we will have to wait and see, but he is a black nationalist and has previously expressed some very worrying views on the constitution. It is far from clear that this sort of background can help the industry get out of its current rut.”
On Malusi Gigaba’s promotion to home affairs, Montalto said he sees it as Gigaba taking another step along the road to one day being president.
He vacates public enterprises which goes to Lyn Brown, former head of ANC opposition in Western Cape provincial legislature. “It is difficult to see what skill she brings to the position given the command and leadership Gigaba brought to the brief,” he said.
Rob Davies and Ebrahim Patel respectively stay at trade and industry and economic development, while Mildred Oliphant also stays at labour “meaning the broad brush strokes of microeconomic policy remain the same”.