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Top 10 quotes from business on Day 1 of #ANC54

Dec 16 2017 23:54
Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – From rooting out corruption, to putting an end to monopoly capital, representatives from business, government and the ANC leadership have spoken out about the issues plaguing South Africa at the start of the ANC’s 54th National Conference.

The day started with the Progressive Business Forum breakfast, where Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba delivered an address. He had to answer tough questions about radical economic transformation posed by business players.

Sponsor of the breakfast Investec’s CEO of Banking Richard Wainwright also shared views on expectations of the outcome of the leadership race, calling on the incoming ANC leadership to collaborate and partner with other actors in society in shaping the future of South Africa.

The ANC’s Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize assured business leaders that a change in the ruling party’s leadership does not mean “everything will crash” and that there will be continuity, after the change.  

President Jacob Zuma also spoke out against corruption in the private sector during his afternoon address.

Fin24 wrapped up some of the top quotes from the day.

10. “Whoever is chosen to lead the ruling party must work hard in partnership with other sectors and actors in society to get South Africa back on track … We need legitimate government and legitimate business to live up to the promise of a prosperous, a successful and more inclusive South Africa.” - Richard Wainwright CEO of Investec Banking SA on expectations of the incoming leadership of the ANC.

9. “Unless there are credible plans in the [National] Budget, there will likely be more downgrades… In contrast, if there are signs of prudent fiscal policies being maintained, credible plans for SOEs (state-owned enterprises), improved  governance in municipalities and strengthening of core institutions, there will be a turnaround in sentiment.” - Richard Wainwright CEO of Investec Banking SA on expectations for the February 2018 budget.

8. "I believe both candidates have reinforced the concept of radical economic transformation, but have very different views of emphasis and very different views on what kind of state and how it will be managed going forward.” - Colin Coleman, MD and Partner at Goldman Sachs South Africa speaking on the race between front runners Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, and former African Union chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

7. “All those issues in front of us, the court cases and the ruling we will deal with all of those things to ensure the conference is orderly and ... successful.” - Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize speaking on the ruling of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court that KZN’s provincial executive committee (PEC) of the ANC would remain dissolved. This meant that the PEC, which supports Dlamini-Zuma, will lose its 27 voting rights for the ANC's national elective conference, News24 reported.

6. “I want to encourage the incoming leadership to be decisive and speedy in implementing the resolutions adopted in the conference. In many instances uncertainty is created not by the difference in opinion of adopted policies but a mere lack of implementation.” - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s message to the incoming ANC leadership.

5. “We must zealously guard and defend our fiscal sovereignty. Fiscal consolidation is not the ultimate solution- the ultimate solution is to drive growth.” - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on why SA should protect its sovereignty and not turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout.  

4. “We have indicated that we are going to complete our fiscal consolidation programme in terms of which will be announced in the budget including outlining ways of funding fee free higher education in a fiscally sustainable manner… So we will announce the detail in the Budget 2018. We can’t provide any details at this present moment.” - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on President Jacob Zuma’s bombsell announcement that free higher education will be provided to students from households with a combined annual income of less than R350 000.

3. “What we need as a country is to work more with one another, than spend more time debating and fighting and quibbling and doing all sorts of things as if we are siblings. Ultimately, yes, we are nationals of the same country. There will be moments when we fight, when we don’t see eye to eye. That’s okay.” - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba comments on collaborations with different stakeholders in society in order to drive a way forward for South Africa.

2. “[The ANC] Conference should give direction on the matter in a way that doesn’t destabilise the sector further... we need to protect jobs in the mining sector.” - President Jacob Zuma addressed uncertainty regarding the Mining Charter 2017 in his opening address. 

1. “Serious concerns have been raised by corruption in the private sector, which is treated with kid gloves and is referred to with  softer terms such as ‘collusion, accounting irregularities, or lapses in corporate governance’. Theft and corruption in the private sector is as bad as that in government and must be dealt with decisively by enforcement agencies.” - President Jacob Zuma slammed corruption in the private sector during his address. 

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