NEWLY elected African National Congress (ANC) deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has initiated a review of his business interests to remove any possibility of a conflict of interest, he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mr Ramaphosa, who was elected only on Tuesday, is acting voluntarily as there are no legal or internal party rules that bind him to disclose his interests or withdraw from business.
However, there are proposals on the table at the party’s Mangaung national conference that would require ANC officials to disclose their interests. These have not yet been debated by the conference.
"In consultation with the ANC officials I am undertaking a process of engagement with several stakeholders on the implication of my election to this post," Mr Ramaphosa said. "This will include a review of existing positions, responsibilities and obligations. It is intended that this will result in an arrangement that removes any conflict of interest."
The past year has seen a dramatic escalation of Mr Ramaphosa’s wealth. From last year to this year his worth rose 39% to R3.1bn. This is according to the Sunday Times Rich List, which measures wealth on the basis of an individual’s holdings in listed companies.
A glance at the holdings of Shanduka, in which the Ramaphosa Family Trust owns 30%, reveals a large and diverse range of interests across almost every sector. In the financial sector, these include holdings of 1.2% in Standard Bank, where Mr Ramaphosa is also a director, 7.8% in Alexander Forbes and 1.5% in the Liberty Group.
Shanduka also owns 0.54% of industrial holding company Bidvest, with varied interests including vehicle dealerships.
In the telecoms sector, Shanduka has interests in both South Africa and Nigeria, the fastest-growing mobile communications market in the world. The interests include 0.45% of MTN South Africa and about 5% of MTN Nigeria. It also has a 32.7% interest in a cellphone tower-building operation in Nigeria — Helios Towers — and 12.5% in Seacom, which constructs undersea cables.