Major business bodies have welcomed the newly elected African National Congress (ANC) leadership. The Chamber of Mines says it’s hoping to see a renewed focus by the governing party following the election of a new leadership with businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as its president.

The Chamber of Mines says the newly-elected President of the ANC and members of the National Executive Committee have a considerable task at hand.

It says the future of South Africa and its people depend on them. Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) has congratulated the new team at the help of the ruling party. BUSA has affirmed that business stands ready to work in partnership with the newly elected leadership to create a conducive environment for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

It says new leadership will need to take decisive steps to build business confidence and address the country’s declining fiscal and macroeconomic position.

The rand firmed to R12.68
Meanwhile, market commentators are concerned about the mixed result of the ANC’s leadership election on Monday.

Three of the Top Six leaders elected are from deputy president Ramaphosa’s camp, including the new ANC president himself, while the other three are seen as backers of his rival Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The rand firmed to R12.68 on the news of Ramaphosa’s election.

On Tuesday morning it’s trading at around R12.74. BNP Paribas SA’s senior economist Jeff Schultz says it may be difficult for the party to self-correct, given the number of, what he calls, pro-Zuma members in the Top Six.

“We are pretty disappointed. It is clear that the makeup of the top six is split between Cyril Ramaphosa camp and Zuma camp, you have two premier leaguers. We don’t view that as a positive market outcome. It’s probably one of the poor outcomes we could have hoped for in terms of the ANC self-correcting between now and 2019.I think some negativity will start creeping back into the currency. “