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The Standard Bank Group congratulates Mr Cyril Ramaphosa on his election as President of the Republic of South Africa.

Johannesburg, 15 February 2018: President Ramaphosa has taken on an immense responsibility and faces many daunting and urgent challenges. He is charged with restoring our national unity and pride; ensuring that impartial justice is done and seen to be done; restarting our journey towards prosperity for all; and leading South Africa’s return to our rightful place in the forefront of African development and as a voice for peace and justice throughout the world.

In our view, the President is exceptionally well equipped by character and experience for these tasks.

Every successful developing country is united by a vision and guided by a plan. We are fortunate that President Ramaphosa was one of the chief architects both of our Constitution and of the National Development Plan.

We are confident that President Ramaphosa will be guided by the Constitution. We trust that he and his Cabinet will now begin to implement the NDP with real urgency. It has been delayed for far too long.

We hope that President Ramaphosa and his Cabinet will:

  • Continue and accelerate our fiscal recovery. This requires reinforcing the authority of the National Treasury, improving the quality of revenue collection and of public expenditure, and reducing the government’s contingent liabilities arising from debts of the State-owned Enterprises
  • Continue the governance and management reforms that have begun at the State-owned Enterprises, and quickly take all the steps necessary to strengthen their capital and liquidity structures
  • Stabilise and modernise the regulatory environments in the mining, energy and communications sectors.

To set South Africa firmly on the path to prosperity, our country also requires new large-scale investments in infrastructure by both the public and private sectors. Major reforms of our primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational education systems, of the justice and health systems, and of many other local, provincial and national departments and agencies are needed. We will not be able to generate the resources required for these larger and longer-term projects unless we implement the urgent reforms listed above.

As the Group said at the time of the March 2017 Cabinet reshuffle, which individuals serve as our President or as Ministers is not the central issue. What really matters is that our political leaders are committed to fulfil their democratic mandates within the Constitution; that they lead transparent, rational and evidence-based policymaking in the national interest; and that they oversee the diligent and honest delivery of public goods and services.

As a leading contributor to the economic development of our country and our continent, the Standard Bank Group will continue to exercise our Constitutional right to participate in South African policy debates. We will argue in support of inclusive and sustainable economic growth and human development in South Africa and on the continent as a whole. We will never be partisan. Equally, we will never hesitate to criticise policy or governance choices when we think that mistakes are being made.

In that spirit of proud South African Constitutionalism, we look forward very much to working under the leadership of President Ramaphosa.

Africa is our home, we drive her growth.

Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika.

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