It was rather a noble gesture by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa when he told guests at an ANC gala dinner in Polokwane on Saturday evening that government is doing everything it can to avert a possible further downgrade of South Africa to “junk” economic status by rating agencies. He also maintained that South Africa’s struggling economy could still attract more investors, particularly in the marine sector, by unlocking investment doors for investors and averting a further downgrade by rating agencies.
South Africa had been included among those countries facing a possible further downgrade by rating agencies, after Brazil’s recent downgrade to “junk status”.
Ramaphosa said government was putting greater effort into boosting the economy. The Operation Phakisa and black industrialists’ programs are part of the arsenal to fight economic decline and attract investors.
Both these ambitious economic development programs were launched a year ago to promote opportunities that could accelerate job creation and grow the economy. Yet not all economists are confident that these will work.
Last year it already became unclear what progress, if any had been made since the ambitious targets were adopted.
Shell SA chairman Bonang Mohale said he would have been happier if there had been a little more focus on the doing and on execution rather than on announcing more and more plans. “That would have been more useful. We do not seem to have the required agility to execute and just do.”