The South African Chamber of Commerce (UK) welcomes Cyril Ramaphosa to the Presidency of South Africa.  As a Chamber we could already sense change since his winning of the Leadership of the ANC, says Chairman of the Chamber, Sharon Constancon, “Ramaphosa’s attitude to getting things done has specifically been felt through recent engagements with the High Commission in the UK.”

The Chamber’s Board welcome Ramaphosa reverting to the ethos of Mandela – who had handpicked Ramaphosa as his successor in the late 90’s.

He too, like Mandela, had to wait his time!

As a business and trade focused Chamber, we welcome a businessman as leader – Ramaphosa has already focused in his first State of the Nation Address on job creation, internships, public institution leadership, business integrity, political behaviour – all focusing on the rejuvenating the stagnating economy and addressing large national debt.

“Guided by [Mandela’s] example, we will use this year to reinforce our commitment to ethical behaviour as well as ethical leadership. We are not merely honouring the past but building the future … South Africa belongs to all who live in it,” Ramaphosa, 65, said.  Ramaphosa promised to “turn the tide of corruption”.

Ramaphosa drew applause when he thanked South Africans for their patience during the last turbulent week.

John Battersby, Board Director of the SA Chamber in the UK, renowned SA journalist who has known SA politicians well, noted Ramaphosa’s respectful relationship with the media, the judiciary and civil society

The Chamber fully supports the restoration of economic growth, tackling of entrenched inequality and non-toleration of plundering of public resources.

Constancon says she was concerned about the future of SA which had deteriorated rapidly since the death of Mandela, “Ramaphosa gives us all a hope that an era of personal agendas at the cost of all has ended.  South Africa is perfectly positioned to gain from trade with the UK under Brexit conditions – the Chamber being well positioned to help business achieve trade between the two countries.”

Echoed by Richard Swart, Director of the Chamber – “We are committed as a Chamber to promote SA in the UK and to champion businesses with SA / UK interests.”  Chantele Carrington, Director of the Chamber, referred to the improved environment the new leadership would offer to SA and its relations with the UK and with Africa.

The SA Chamber Board will constructively promote, facilitate and support the return to economic growth in South Africa through helping businesses trading between the two countries and engaging with government where possible to build on the fresh impetus begun by our  new President who gives us reason again to be proud South Africans.