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South African Prez promises reforms; says private sector 'capture' of state institutions being undone

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: January 23, 2019  | 19:12 IST

By Barun Jha Davos, Jan 23 (PTI) Wooing investors at the World Economic Forum, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday said his government is re-establishing rule of law, especially where private sector had "captured" state institutions. At a press conference here at the WEF annual meeting, Ramaphosa said South Africa has turned around and has entered a period of "hope and renewal". The country is back on the path of progress it embarked upon in 1994 when it became a democratic country, he said. The president said inclusive growth and job creation are at the centre of their national agenda as it is a matter of concern that around a third of working-age South Africans are unemployed. He said direct foreign investment rose 440 per cent between 2017 and 2018, rising from USD 1.3 billion to USD 7.1 billion and the aim is to sustain this growth and investment. South Africa is committed to addressing investors concerns and expectations, he said, citing economic reforms to provide greater policy certainty. Following the recession in the first half of 2018, the government introduced a stimulus plan, redirected public spending towards agriculture and the small business sector, and established an infrastructure fund to consolidate all public spending on infrastructure. This would be mixed with private sector expertise, the president said. "Economic growth has turned around and while forecasts are subdued, we are determined to unlock the many opportunities in the economy," he said. South Africa has also established a commission to re-establish the rule of law, especially where the private sector had 'captured' state institutions, Ramaphosa said. "It is hearing evidence and will prosecute in an effort to end corruption. They have also replaced boards of several state-owned corporations. In the next few weeks, they will announce a series of measures...," he said. The president also promised greater land and agricultural reforms after taking into account interest of all people. PTI BJ RAM RAM

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