Johannesburg - South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government will seek to provide more clarity to businesses about its policies in order to bolster confidence and spur investment.
“We recognise that a major reason for the low level of investment is weak business confidence,” Ramaphosa told delegates at a central bank leadership conference in Muldersdrift, west of Johannesburg.
“This is driven, at least in part, by perceptions of policy uncertainty.”
Ramaphosa, 61, a frontrunner to become the nation’s next president, underscored the government’s commitment to its 20-year economic plan that seeks to boost growth to 5 percent and slash a 26 percent jobless rate.
Africa’s second-biggest economy is set to expand this year at its slowest pace since the 2009 recession as a series of strikes in mining and manufacturing, coupled with energy shortages, disrupted output.
“Government is acutely aware of the challenges in our economy,” Ramaphosa said.
“While we are much affected by global conditions, the challenges in our economy are caused in great measure by domestic factors.”
President Jacob Zuma plans to hold a business summit soon, which will give the government the opportunity to explain its policies, he said.
Ramaphosa, who was elected deputy president of the ruling African National Congress in 2012, is the nation’s second-richest black businessman, accumulating his wealth through stakes in companies such as Standard Bank, Africa’s largest lender.
Ramaphosa reiterated the independence of the South African Reserve Bank to execute monetary policy without political interference.
The government is committed to a stable exchange rate, while raising the level of foreign-currency reserves in a prudent manner, he said.
The rand fell 0.4 percent against the dollar to 10.6505 as of 1:34 pm in Johannesburg, extending its decline this year to 1.5 percent. - Bloomberg News