‘Now the hard work begins’: Business leaders welcome Ramaphosa’s GNU Cabinet

Business leaders from BBC, BUSA and BLSA have welcomed the appointments of Parks Tau, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and Enoch Godongwana to the Trade Industry, Energy and Electricity and Finance Ministries respectively. Pictures: GCIS. Collage: SihleMlambo/IOL

Business leaders from BBC, BUSA and BLSA have welcomed the appointments of Parks Tau, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and Enoch Godongwana to the Trade Industry, Energy and Electricity and Finance Ministries respectively. Pictures: GCIS. Collage: SihleMlambo/IOL

Published Jul 2, 2024


The Black Business Council, Business Leadership SA, and Business Unity South Africa have welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Government of National Unity Cabinet, stating that although it was rather large, it was now time to do the heavy lifting of working for a prosperous country.

After two weeks of gruelling negotiations and a very public spat with the DA over ministerial appointments, Ramaphosa announced his Cabinet on Sunday night after 10pm.

He appointed ministers and deputy ministers from the ANC, DA, IFP, PA, FF+, Good and the PAC for his inclusive GNU Cabinet. A total of 75 people were appointed.

The ministers are expected to be sworn in on Tuesday at a ceremony in Pretoria at the Union Buildings.

The business sector leaders said they were relieved Ramaphosa had announced his Cabinet as it ended uncertainty about the GNU, which was on the brink of collapse as the ANC and DA haggled over positions last week.

Business universally welcomed Enoch Godongwana and Kgosientsho ‘Supra’ Ramokgopa returning as Finance and Electricity and Energy Minister respectively, while they also applauded Parks Tau’s appointment as the new Trade, Industry and Competition Minister.

They said it was time for urgent, practical and evidence-based implementation of policy which would deliver sustainable, inclusive economic development, jobs, investment, and social development.

BBC on Cabinet

Black Business Council (BBC) chief executive Kganki Matabane said they welcomed the economic cluster remaining under ANC control after consulting Ramaphosa.

“Mr Tau is fit-for-purpose, and the BBC is confident that he will accelerate the implementation of the socio-economic transformation policies.

“He has his work cut out as most of the senior management positions in the department and its entities are occupied by people on acting capacity, including the fact that the department never had a permanent Director-General for more than three years,” said Matabane.

On Ramokgopa, the BBC said they were “assured that the country will be provided with the required energy that will enable re-industrialisation to take place in earnest”.

“The new Cabinet… is a sensible reflection of the difficult balancing act that President Ramaphosa was faced with,” said Matabane, adding that the ministers had to tackle the issue of persistent low growth, poverty, unemployment and inequality.

BLSA on Cabinet

BLSA CEO Busisiwe Mavuso said the GNU Cabinet set South Africa on a new course and said the strength of the road ahead was dependent on agreements signed in the past two weeks.

“The firmer they are, with all sides understanding exactly their roles and responsibilities, the more stable and effective we can expect this coalition government to be.

“The very large size of the GNU Cabinet does raises concerns about budget, efficiency and the ability to govern effectively while balancing the competing interests of the coalition partners and other stakeholders,” said Mavuso.

She said they were calling on ministers in the GNU to appoint competent public servants who were keen to execute on policy promises.

“These appointments are critical to problem solving and inspired delivery. Every high-level public servant appointment is an opportunity to strengthen governance.

“We look forward to engaging with the new cabinet. South Africa needs leaders of integrity, with the right skills and experience, and who are committed to driving the reforms necessary to put the country back on a path to prosperity — for the benefit of all its citizens. Now the hard work and lifting starts,” said Mavuso.

BUSA on Cabinet

BUSA CEO designate, Khulekani Mathe, said their priorities were for government to create an enabling business environment that would attract domestic and international investment, as well as increase the professionalisation of the public service.

He said they also wanted to build on successful public-private partnerships, and bringing public finances under control.

He stated the purging of senior public officials should be avoided as it weakened the civil service and it created policy uncertainty.

"Business hopes to continue working with the government in the public-private partnership that has reduced load shedding, improved transport and logistics infrastructure and operations, and is strengthening the national capacity to tackle crime and corruption.

“Over 130 chief executives have pledged their ongoing commitment to this partnership, which has unlocked infrastructure and operational constraints to inclusive economic growth.

"It is crucial that we continue to prioritise bringing public finances under control in line with the fiscal consolidation measures outlined in the 2023 Budget,” said Mathe.