THE business community, through Business Unity South Africa (Busa), has welcomed the African National Congress’s newly elected top six leaders, saying it pledged its commitment to "constructively engage" them.
President Jacob Zuma was re-elected as ANC president at the party’s elective congress in Mangaung on Tuesday, while Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as his deputy — taking over from Kgalema Motlanthe.
Gwede Mantashe retained his position as secretary-general, while Baleka Mbethe retained hers as national chairperson. Zweli Mkhize took over from Matthews Phosa as treasurer-general.
"We singularly embrace the mix of continuity and introduction of new and fresh leadership, which we hope will underscore the injection of new ideas as well as the continuance of existing country programmes," Busa CEO Nomaxabiso Majokweni said.
Ms Majokweni noted that the ANC leadership was coming on board at a time when the country faced serious and critical challenges, including declining confidence among investors, high and escalating levels of corruption, and socioeconomic challenges such as increasing levels of inequality, joblessness and poverty.
South Africa has a high unemployment rate of 25.5%.
"The time is now to get down to work, rebuild and reclaim lost ground as a matter of urgency," Ms Majokweni said.
Ms Majokweni said South Africa faced complex challenges and that a mix of old and new leaders in the top six gave the business community confidence for the implementation of the National Development Plan and co-operation between all social partners.