The Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) said on Thursday the newly-elected leadership of the governing ANC party should focus on achieving inclusive economic growth and facilitating investment and job creation. 

The African National Congress voted in deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa as its next leader at the just-ended conference. If he also succeeds President Jacob Zuma as the country’s next president, Ramaphosa faces the arduous task of fixing an economy beset by poverty, unemployment and inequality as well as land inequity, food insecurity, stagnant growth and a growing fiscal deficit.

BASA managing director Cas Coovadia said many of the problems had been caused by poor service delivery, policy and political uncertainty, sub-investment grade ratings, corruption, as well as ethical misconduct in government, the private sector, parts of civil society, and through erosion of institutions like the SA Revenue Service and state-owned enterprises.

“We need a common vision, a leadership that brings the full potential of SA together to address the problems we face,” Coovadia said in a statement.

“The next few months will be crucial to signal that we are ready to take our country forward, economically and socially. Those elected at this conference must aim for policy certainty and social cohesion, for decisive and courageous leadership that can bring South Africans together.”

He warned that the continued presence of many linked to corruption and “state capture” in the ANC leadership did not bode well for addressing South Africa’s scourges decisively.

“Critical state institutions have been steadily attacked to support the politically expedient needs of the few, and the conference indicates little hope of this being curtailed,” Coovadia said.

“Too little is being done to address what this means in terms of the efficacy of these bodies, the flight of essential talent and the severe systemic effect on our economy.”

– African News Agency (ANA)