Image: ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture Ayanda Ndamane/African New Agency/ANA

CAPE TOWN - The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting is scheduled to take place from January 23-26, 2018 with this year's theme of "creating a shared future in a fractured world". 

The forum, which engages business and political leaders of society to shape agendas will host its 48th Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland - is set to host 3 000 participants across all stakeholder groups. 

"The global context has changed dramatically: geostrategic fissures have re-emerged on multiple fronts with wide-ranging political, economic and social consequences", the group said.

"Realpolitik is no longer just a relic of the Cold War. Economic prosperity and social cohesion are not one and the same. The global commons cannot protect or heal itself". 

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The 48th World Economic Forum annual meeting therefore aims to rededicate leaders from all walks of life to developing a shared narrative to improve the state of the world. 

On January 12, 2018, 58 South Africans had been confirmed for attendance to the meeting. These include business leaders, 7 government officials, 3 academics and 3 members of the media. 

ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa will lead the agenda at the forum with Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba being the lead minister and co-ordinator. 

While Ramaphosa will lead the forum, it is reported that President Jacob Zuma will will lead the country's delegation to the 30th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, scheduled to take place from 22-29 January 2018, with the President also attending the African Peer Review Mechanism/NEPAD sessions on 27 January. 

Ramaphosa will also attend the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union scheduled to take place 28-29 January.

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With this crucial forum approaching, the Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has raised some key concerns. 

According to Busa, against the backdrop of recent negative ratings actions and sluggish economic growth and poor consumer and investor confidence, South Africa should prioritise economic reforms that are necessary to reignite growth.

Busa President Jabu Mabuza yesterday said South Africa should focus on, among others, fiscal discipline, regulatory and policy certainty as well as clear plans to reignite growth and create employment.”

Commenting on what the country’s priorities should be ahead of WEF, Mabuza said: 

"Our view is that there will be a critical need to demonstrate an urgent refocus and credible solutions to the key issues that resulted in our deteriorated creditworthiness, including clear plans for the reform of our key (state-owned companies) as a priority and commitment to fiscal discipline (which entails) strong measures on cost containment and structural reforms to boost growth and revenue collection to arrest the unsustainable increase in government debt and increases in fiscal deficits". 

"We believe that, as complex as the challenges we face are, with demonstrable ethical and inspirational leadership and collaboration, we can send out a strong message that South Africa is open for business, thereby achieving our common vision of job creation and sustainable inclusive economic growth for the benefit of all South Africans", said Mabuza.

List of South African leaders attending the WEF 2018


Cyril RamaphosaDeputy PresidentSouth African Government
Jeff RadebeMinister in the PresidencySouth African Government
Nkosinathi NhlekoMinister of Public WorksSouth African Government
Rob DaviesMinister of Trade and IndustrySouth African Government
Maite Nkoana MashabaneMinister of International Relations and CooperationSouth African Government
Malusi GigabaMinister of FinanceSouth African Government
Ebrahim PatelMinister of Economic DevelopmentSouth African Government

State-run groups

Lesetja KganyagoGovernorSouth African Reserve Bank
Siyabonga GamaActing CEOTransnet
Shulami QalingeGeneral ManagerTransnet
Khayalethu NgemaGroup Executive: StrategyTransnet
Jabu MabuzaChairTelkom
Matshepo MoreCFOPublic Investment Corp.
Kingsley MakhubelaCEOBrand South Africa

Finance and Investment

Nicky Newton-KingCEOJSE
Aarti TakoordeenCFOJSE
Stephen KoseffCEOInvestec
Hendrik du ToitCEOInvestec Asset Management
Ben KrugerExecutive DirectorStandard Bank
Alan PullingerDeputy CEOFirstRand
Mike BrownCEONedbank
Trevor ManuelChairmanOld Mutual Emerging Markets
Peter MoyoCEOOld Mutual Emerging Markets
Jacko MareeChairmanLiberty Holdings
Geoffrey QhenaCEOIDC
Busi MabuzaChairIDC
Patrick DlaminiCEODevelopment Bank of South Africa
Jabulani MoleketiChairDevelopment Bank of South Africa
Peter MatlareDeputy CEOBarclays Africa
Maria RamosCEOBarclays Africa

Business leaders

Bonang MohaleCEOBusiness Leadership SA
Iqbal SurveExecutive ChairmanSekunjalo Holdings
Calvo MawelaCEO: Multichoice SANaspers
Peter StaudeCEOTongaat Hulett
Rob ShuterGroup CEOMTN Group
Stephen van CollerVP: Digital ServicesMTN Group
Mary VilikaziGroup CFOMMI Holdings
Stewart BaileySenior Vice-PresidentAngloGold Ashanti
Sipho PityanaChairAngloGold Ashanti
Patrice MotsepeChairAfrica Rainbow Minerals
Jongisa MagagulaHead of Investor RelationsAfrica Rainbow Minerals
Andries WilkensDirectorAfrica Rainbow Minerals
Stephen CornellCo-CEOSasol
Bongani NqwababaCo-CEOSasol
Soloman AssefaDirectorIBM Research Africa
Billy MwashaManaging DirectorRio Tinto
Shona McDonaldExecutive DirectorShonaquip
Tracey ChambersCEOThe Clothing Bank
Shamiso KumbiraiWater EngineerAurecon
Luvuyo RaniManaging DirectorSilulo Ulutho Technologies
Ishmael SungaCEOSouthern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions


Christina Adriana de WetExecutive EditorBusiness Report
Tim CohenEditorBusiness Day
Bronwyn NielsenEditor-in-ChiefCNBC Africa


Max PriceVice ChancellorUniversity of Cape Town
Tolu OniAssociate Professor, School of Public Health and Family MedicineUniversity of Cape Town
Precious Moloi-MotsepeExecutive ChairMotsepe Foundation
Peter Draper

Senior Research Fellow, Economic Diplomacy Programme

South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)

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