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


Name Role Company
Cyril Ramaphosa Deputy President South African Government
Jeff Radebe Minister in the Presidency South African Government
Nkosinathi Nhleko Minister of Public Works South African Government
Rob Davies Minister of Trade and Industry South African Government
Maite Nkoana Mashabane Minister of International Relations and Cooperation South African Government
Malusi Gigaba Minister of Finance South African Government
Ebrahim Patel Minister of Economic Development South African Government

State-run groups

Name Role Company
Lesetja Kganyago Governor South African Reserve Bank
Siyabonga Gama Acting CEO Transnet
Shulami Qalinge General Manager Transnet
Khayalethu Ngema Group Executive: Strategy Transnet
Jabu Mabuza Chair Telkom
Matshepo More CFO Public Investment Corp.
Kingsley Makhubela CEO Brand South Africa

Finance and Investment

Name Role Company
Nicky Newton-King CEO JSE
Aarti Takoordeen CFO JSE
Stephen Koseff CEO Investec
Hendrik du Toit CEO Investec Asset Management
Ben Kruger Executive Director Standard Bank
Alan Pullinger Deputy CEO FirstRand
Mike Brown CEO Nedbank
Trevor Manuel Chairman Old Mutual Emerging Markets
Peter Moyo CEO Old Mutual Emerging Markets
Jacko Maree Chairman Liberty Holdings
Geoffrey Qhena CEO IDC
Busi Mabuza Chair IDC
Patrick Dlamini CEO Development Bank of South Africa
Jabulani Moleketi Chair Development Bank of South Africa
Peter Matlare Deputy CEO Barclays Africa
Maria Ramos CEO Barclays Africa

Business leaders

Name Role Company
Bonang Mohale CEO Business Leadership SA
Iqbal Surve Executive Chairman Sekunjalo Holdings
Calvo Mawela CEO: Multichoice SA Naspers
Peter Staude CEO Tongaat Hulett
Rob Shuter Group CEO MTN Group
Stephen van Coller VP: Digital Services MTN Group
Mary Vilikazi Group CFO MMI Holdings
Stewart Bailey Senior Vice-President AngloGold Ashanti
Sipho Pityana Chair AngloGold Ashanti
Patrice Motsepe Chair Africa Rainbow Minerals
Jongisa Magagula Head of Investor Relations Africa Rainbow Minerals
Andries Wilkens Director Africa Rainbow Minerals
Stephen Cornell Co-CEO Sasol
Bongani Nqwababa Co-CEO Sasol
Soloman Assefa Director IBM Research Africa
Billy Mwasha Managing Director Rio Tinto
Shona McDonald Executive Director Shonaquip
Tracey Chambers CEO The Clothing Bank
Shamiso Kumbirai Water Engineer Aurecon
Luvuyo Rani Managing Director Silulo Ulutho Technologies
Ishmael Sunga CEO Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions


Name Role Company
Christina Adriana de Wet Executive Editor Business Report
Tim Cohen Editor Business Day
Bronwyn Nielsen Editor-in-Chief CNBC Africa


Name Role Company
Max Price Vice Chancellor University of Cape Town
Tolu Oni Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Family Medicine University of Cape Town
Precious Moloi-Motsepe Executive Chair Motsepe Foundation
Peter Draper

Senior Research Fellow, Economic Diplomacy Programme

South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)

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