The election of a new state president, Cyril Ramaphosa, presents a "fresh opportunity" to rejig the economy and create jobs, according to Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Bonang Mohale.
But stack away the balloons and champagne – because there's "no time to celebrate," Mohale insisted.
While BLSA welcomed the election of Ramaphosa following the "late resignation" of Zuma, it believes the new administration should urgently focus on "critical issues" instead of celebrating, the outspoken voice of business said in a statement on Thursday.
The crucial issues in need of urgent attention, BLSA said, include the following:
STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES: SOEs are "bankrupt" and the leadership, capital structure and governance issues gripping SOEs need to be addressed.
'CAPTURED' PUBLIC SERVICE: The South African Revenue Service (Sars) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) "used to be our pride and joy, but now they are captured", said Mohale. Some public services are "cases worse now than in 1994", he added.
ZONDO 'STATE CAPTURE' COMMISSION: The Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture needs to be properly resourced, so that it will have teeth.
"With Zuma out the way, and the terms of reference and regulations promulgated... we need it to be adequately resourced to begin its work of investigating state capture against key figures in the ANC's senior leadership and in Zuma's cabinet," Mohale said, adding that those in positions of leadership under prosecution need to be given the opportunity to account for their actions.
ECONOMIC POLICYMAKING: Labour, civil society and business should engage in economic policymaking and "efforts to jealously guard this democracy," he said.
We know only too well what happens when we abdicate this patriotic duty.
Mohale said BLSA "stands ready" to present its own proposal on an "emergency recovery plan" for the economy.
"In business, the incoming administration – hopefully free of dead wood, incompetence and those facing corruption allegations – will find a willing and capable partner to help pull back our country from the brink of collapse," he said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver his first state of the nation address (Sona) on Friday evening in Parliament.