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Ramaphosa to skip World Economic Forum, focus on 'pressing' domestic issues

Jan 16 2020 18:20
Sibongile Khumalo

President Cyril Ramaphosa will not attend the World Economic Forum which takes place in Davos next week and take time to focus on "pressing domestic priorities" as the country battles political and economic challenges.

The annual gathering of financiers, business leaders and top government officials from around the world, held in Switzerland, will run between 21 and 24 January. 

"The President has taken this decision to give attention to pressing domestic priorities and preparations for the governing party and Cabinet Makgotla," read a statement released on Thursday.

Ramaphosa will also skip the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on Monday 20 January 2020. 

South Africa will be represented in Davos and London by senior government and civil society representatives, led by Minister of Finance Mr Tito Mboweni and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Dr Naledi Pandor respectively, said the Presidency.

The office further stated that Ramaphosa is currently engaged with preparations towards South Africa’s assumption of the Chairship of the African Union at the 33rd African Union Summit on 9-10 February 2020.

Faced with an sluggish economy and growing challenges presented by the country's struggling state-owned entities, Ramaphosa's leadership has, in recent months, faced close scrutiny.

In December, Ramaphosa was forced to cut short his visit to Egypt to come and address the energy crisis at home, as Eskom implemented stage 6 load shedding for the first time.

The power utility has blamed the wave of power cuts on breakdowns at its power plants, and authorities are also investigating a case of alleged sabotage.

With its over-reliance on the state for funding and a R450bn debt, much of it guaranteed by government, Eskom has been singled out as the biggest threat to the country's economic stability.  

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