Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was speaking at the Black Business Council's Economy Recovery Dinner in Joburg. File picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Johannesburg – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended the government's calls for radical economic transformation and says it must happen with urgency.

He said those that don't like the phase "radical economic transformation" should wake up and smell the coffee as it would happen soon.

Ramaphosa, a former businessman, was speaking at the Black Business Council's (BBC) Economy Recovery Dinner in Joburg on Wednesday night.

He told the few hundred business delegates in attendance that radical economic transformation would entail reskilling and the creation of black industrialists.

It would also include setting aside business opportunities with the government for black business, said Ramaphosa to loud cheers from BBC delegates.

Ramaphosa admitted the country was facing a tough time economically due to global trends but also because of the political instability.

This after is after the country was downgraded by two rating agencies, Fitch and S&P, who cited political and policy instability as the reason.

Ramaphosa said that public opinion is more charged today than it has ever been since 1994, but called on South Africans not to bury their heads in the sand and admit that there were issues.

With reference to the economic recovery, Ramaphosa referred to the social compact between labour, business and the government as broker that could help the economy.

Ramaphosa said when Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba travels to the US to speak to investors, he will deliver a message that the country has not shutdown and that the wheels were still on.

Politics and Development Hub