The South African Chamber of Commerce in the United States has warned that Cyril Ramaphosa’s resignation as president will devastate the local economy.
Its comments followed a judicial report which found that Ramaphosa may have violated the constitution following the theft of $580,000 at his Phala Phala farm.
Initial media reports suggested that he was set to resign. However, the latest news point to Ramaphosa fighting for his political life on advice from his political and business allies.
South African Chamber of Commerce in the United States chairman Neil Diamond said the findings against Ramaphosa are of great concern to them.
“President Ramaphosa has been a champion for the anti-corruption cause in South Africa. To have these findings so close to the ANC elective conference is of grave concern to us,” he said.
Political stability is a core pillar of the South African economy, and Ramaphosa’s resignation would have devastating implications.
“The President’s resignation would definitely have a devastating impact on our economy and would send the rand in a downward spiral,” he said.
“There is no scenario where the president’s resignation could positively impact South Africa or our economy.”
Diamond said if Ramaphosa resigned, it could destroy investor confidence and adversely affect foreign direct investment.
“We are concerned about the impact this has in a looming global recession, given the fact that South Africa has just emerged after the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“We compete in a peer group of countries in the emerging economies, which will put South Africa at the back of the pack when investors look at our country. It could only be bad for South Africa.”
Should Ramaphosa resign, Diamond hopes that a leader would emerge with political credibility that would instil political confidence.
At the same time, this leader should make investors comfortable that the economy is in good hands.
“The government should continue on the trajectory of anti-corruption, rebuilding the economy, and establishing investor relations with the international community,” he said.