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Ramaphosa meets CEOs amid investor angst over SA’s Russia ties and ongoing power crisis

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet met with business leaders as concern over the country’s energy crisis, logistic constraints and close ties with Russia grow.

Attendees discussed collaborating to obtain inclusive growth, inspire confidence in the economy and create jobs, the Presidency said in a Twitter post.

Five years after Ramaphosa ushered in a wave of business optimism that he’d revive the economy crippled by industrial-scale corruption under his predecessor, executives are running out of patience with the president, who is seeking re-election next year.

Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa.

Economic stagnation stoked by record daily power cuts, rampant crime, disintegrating infrastructure and foreign policy missteps is leading investors to the exits. Yields on the benchmark 10-year generic government bond have risen 129 basis points this year to 12.1%, foreign buyers have been net sellers of the nation’s stocks and the rand has plunged 11%.

Executives including Daniel Mminele, Nedbank Group’s chairman, and MTN Group’s Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita have called for urgency in resolving domestic hindrances to economic growth and warned the country is at risk of becoming a so-called failed state.

Others such as FirstRand Chief Executive Officer Alan Pullinger have criticised the country’s relationship with Russia. The government’s indifference to the war in Ukraine and its friendship with Russia is “foolhardy in the extreme,” he said. – Bloomberg