29/12/2017 08:23 SAST | Updated 29/12/2017 08:23 SAST

Ramaphosa Will Ensure 'Corrupt Capitalist System Survives' – Saftu

The South African Federation of Trade Unions does not believe Cyril Ramaphosa is the answer to South Africa's problems.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Newly elected president of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa arrives to speak at the end of the party's 54th national conference. December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Newly elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa is a "deeply compromised capitalist billionaire" with "hands stained with the blood of the 34 victims of Marikana", according to the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), News24 has reported.

In its end-of-year statement, the second-largest trade union federation in South Africa warned that Ramaphosa was not the answer to South Africa's problems.

"In order to appease the credit rating agencies and international investors, [Ramaphosa] will have to appear to be taking action against the blatant forms of corruption, while at the same time ensuring that the inherently corrupt and exploitative monopoly capitalist system survives intact," Saftu said.

The report added that Saftu believes the "radical-sounding resolutions" passed at the ANC's national conference earlier this month would not be implemented.

"The 50-50 split in the (ANC) leadership means endless bickering, and not the decisive action required to lead our country out of the quagmire the ANC itself has placed the country in," the federation's statement said.

But the markets, unsurprisingly, have a different view to Saftu. Economists believe the fate of South Africa's economy now rests with Ramaphosa, the deputy state president as well as the new head of the ANC, according to Eyewitness News (EWN).

"He's had a commitment to root out corruption and state capture. Secondly, his economic policy doctrines [are] very much embedded in the national development plan," economist Ajar Jammine told EWN.

But like Sadtu, he also expressed concern about whether Ramaphosa could fight corruption, given the divisions in the ANC's new top six and NEC.

"But the big question that everyone asks is whether he'll be allowed to execute such policies. Half of the top six are actually still perceived to be in the Zuma slate," he said in the EWN report.

Ramaphosa's appointment appeared to please the markets initially, although the announcement of the top six did not, the Mail & Guardian reported at the time. The rand/dollar exchange rate improved slightly after Ramaphosa's election, but lost some of its gains after the top six were announced.

Economic strategist at Argon Asset Management Thabi Leoka told the Mail & Guardian, "I think the outcome is a stroke of genius for the ANC ... I guess unity happened. It will be interesting to see if Cyril Ramaphosa will be able to push through policies he wanted to push through with a unity top six ... policy is determined by the ANC, and not by individuals."