Newly-elected African National Congress President Cyril Ramaphosa calls for unity within the organisation, saying the attendance of the delegates representing branches demonstrated victory over the doomsayers. “ANC still stands 106 years later,” he says.
Ramaphosa delivers the closing speech for the 54th African National Congress (ANC) at Nasrec, Johannesburg, in the earlier hours of Thursday.
It is the first time that he is addressing the ruling party, South Africa and the world as the new president of the ANC.
Ramaphosa, one of the richest South African politician, was announced president of the ANC on Monday. He won the elections with 244o votes, defeating his opponent, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who received 2261 votes.
“As the ANC, we have been the central driver of progress in our country and the economy over the last 23 years.
Our efforts have been aimed at eradicating poverty, inequality and reducing unemployment,” Ramaphosa said.
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Meanwhile, ratings agencies are cautiously optimistic about the future of South Africa following the election of Ramaphosa.
However, they point to the closeness of the Nasrec voting and likely challenges in agreeing and implementing changes to economic and fiscal policy.
In a statement, Fitch says the full repercussions of Ramaphosa’s victory will be far-reaching, but they are likely to remain unpredictable ahead of the 2019 elections.
Ratings agency Moody’s says Ramaphosa’s election opens up the tentative possibility of a positive shift in the country’s economic policy and an increase in business confidence. It says this could reverse the gradual deterioration of the country’s credit fundamentals.
In November, Moody’s placed South Africa’s sovereign debt, which has a Baa3 rating, on review for downgrade.