Manuel soothes investor fears over Madiba

Manuel soothes investor fears over Madiba

2013-06-25 08:53

London - International investors need not worry about South Africa's future when senior statesman Nelson Mandela eventually dies, as his legacy will be safeguarded, Planning Minister Trevor Manuel said on Monday.

The 94-year old Mandela, the country's first black president, is critically ill with a lung infection, a huge concern for South Africa's 53 million people who revere him as the architect of peaceful transition to democracy in 1994 after three centuries of white rule.

But many investors and economists also fear that the death of Mandela, often considered the moral compass of the ruling ANC party, will embolden the ANC's radical elements, such as those who criticise him for making too many concessions to the white minority or others who call for nationalising the giant mining industry.

"There have been concerns expressed, unjustifiably, about what happens when Nelson Mandela is no longer with us," Manuel, a respected former finance minister, told Reuters.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a conference held to launch a report on the validity of an annual World Bank business survey.

Manuel noted that Mandela's health had been deteriorating - his last public appearance was in July 2010 - so his role is already diminished.

"It is a deep and profound tragedy but one that in many ways we have been close to and thinking about for many months ... but over the past year he hasn't been able to play the advisory role of a patriarch," he said.

"It is up to us (to see) his legacy lives on. Whether he is physically here or not, it is his legacy we have to protect."

Mandela's illness has coincided with a storm of events for South Africa, which is seeing investors flee its bond markets as domestic worries over chronic labour unrest coincide with a withdrawal of liquidity by the US Federal Reserve.

Many have criticised the government for lack of progress in implementing key reforms in an economy which is grappling with shortages of power, poor healthcare and high unemployment.

Manuel, who was known for his prudent fiscal stance as finance minister, now oversees the National Development Plan, a blue-print for future development. The plan has been under fire from union leaders and communists who have attacked it for placing too much emphasis on private capital.

Manuel said the plan would be debated and he predicted that in coming months there would be advances on several fronts such as with civil service, education and on anti-corruption. But he said the plan would be implemented.

"Even as we work through all these issues, there is no holding off on the plan until some cataclysmic event happens."

Manuel, meanwhile, said it was natural that South Africa, like other emerging markets, was feeling the impact of the Fed's stimulus withdrawal process.

"It's a fact, there are very few safe havens left. There was a time South Africa was seen as one of the safe havens.... We will continue to see periods of uncertainty, but at some point people will start looking for value," he added.

  • Cabbage Promise Goats Dlamini - 2013-06-25 09:12

    This mr Manuel was the finance minister during too many things that went wrong, arms deal and corruption. If he was not the one that was the corrupt cadre then he knew about corrupt friends and he never speaks about them or supports the investigations for them to go to jail. How can anyone who pays their taxes every month trust such a man that sits with corrupt people and he protects them? These investors can ignore such a man.

  • Kortbroek Du Plessis - 2013-06-25 09:18

    Showerhead has being doing his own thing anyway. Mandela hasn't made any diffrence that's obvious.

  • Eugene Fourie - 2013-06-25 09:21

    Like the rest of Africa this country will also be run into the ground sooner than later...

  • Louis Dawid Kriel - 2013-06-25 09:33

    Any investor that is worth his salt will not listen to the All Black Trevor Manuel. Get your money out of Zimababwe 2 before you lose everything.

  • Junia Thavha - 2013-06-25 09:37


      DjBas - 2013-06-25 09:46

      Why are you shouting?

      Clive Cox - 2013-06-25 09:47

      Unfortunately the bulk of our country do not have common sense.

  • tracykruger007 - 2013-06-25 09:46

    Nothing will change at all ! Madiba has been non comprehend for ages now and over and above this he is no longer President of this Country which is already at the hands of the greedy Government at present. Mr Mandela hasn't got a cooking clue what this lot are doing !

  • Richard Scully - 2013-06-25 09:48

    It's the ANC you must worry about

  • Nick Athinodorou - 2013-06-25 09:49

    'after three centuries of white rule' Really? I didn't know that Shaka and the Zulu Empire were ruled by whites for three centuries. We learn something new everyday it seems...

  • aevanschalkwyk - 2013-06-25 10:16

    Lol fools!

  • Danie Malan - 2013-06-25 10:23

    Trevor was obviously instructed by JZ to make these statements!

  • Peter L Morris - 2013-06-25 10:29

    Manuel you were on Boesak's payroll when he had his fingers in the till with the Norwegian's money, you should know how to soft soap the investors

  • Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-06-25 11:37

    Manuel, the man who once asked;"Who is the Dalai Lama?". Another empty vessel.

  • Crusadersudan - 2013-06-25 13:22

    Zuma is another one that the world has produced...........just a pitty they kept the wrong bucket .

  • Justin Hemming - 2013-06-25 14:13

    Three centuries of white rule? Ya right

  • An observer - 2013-06-25 22:28

    When the benign face of Mandela is gone, then watch the true face of the ANC reveal itself. Even under the benign face of Mandela they have raped and pillaged our country, its resources its people, and its moral compass. Watch how they scavenge and loot, but we, the people will get them out and chase them away. It depends on us, the people. Not a system, but you, me and those who are of integrity.

  • Tammy Rachel Maubane - 2013-06-26 08:44

    "as his legacy will be safeguarded" In my opinion Nelson Mandela's legacy has long been ruined by the ruling party. Mr Minister you are holding onto feathers.

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