President Cyril Ramaphosa will not attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland and the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London.

The presidency said in a statement on Thursday (16 January) that Ramaphosa has taken this decision “to give attention to pressing domestic priorities and preparations for the governing party and cabinet makgotla”.

“The President is further currently engaged with preparations towards South Africa’s assumption of the Chairship of the African Union at the 33rd African Union Summit on 9-10 February 2020,” it said.

The South African delegation will instead be led by the minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, and the minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor.

A number of other senior government and civil society representatives are also expected to attend.

“The President is confident that the nation will benefit from the participation of the government and civil society delegations in the Davos and London events.”

Speaking at a pre-Davos breakfast on Thursday (16 January), Mboweni noted that various institutions have projected a worsened growth outlook for South Africa in 2020 and beyond.

In response to this revised growth, Mboweni said that there are three critical turnaround developments that must take place, namely:

  • Government’s reform agenda must gather momentum;
  • Policy certainty needs to be secured;
  • Investment needs to recover at a fast pace.

“Many of you have been participating in WEF for many years now, and am sure you will agree that these three issues are ones that all investors in our country are interested in.

“Government remains committed to policy reform and to providing policy certainty, particularly on the areas relevant to a conducive business environment, that is energy, land and telecommunications.

“We have made progress on the three areas since Davos 2019,” he said.

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