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Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa touched down in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday with a delegation to the World Economic Forum.

"We concurred that long-standing structural challenges continue to weigh on growth in South Africa", Lagarde said in a statement, adding: "We consequently agreed that bold and timely reforms are needed to create an environment conducive to job creation and less inequality".

Analysts at NKC African Economics said the USA currency's weakness was the main factor behind recent rand strength.

Ramaphosa was asked whether, once in power, he would grant Zuma a presidential pardon. If that happens, the rand could even go as strong as R10 to the dollar, some have speculated.

"Investors have a much more optimistic view of South Africa than previous year", he said, adding that South Africa has had a stable political transition and that there is a strong commitment to address the issue of state capture (corruption).

"What I have committed to do‚ together with other leaders of the ANC as we resolved at our conference (in December)‚ is to tackle corruption".

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The new ANC president said that he was well aware of that the issue of Zuma's tenure was top of everyone's mind, but would not be moved to say what was on the cards, beyond that he and Zuma were constantly "in discussions".

South Africa's central bank governor, also speaking in Davos, said Ramaphosa's appointment had removed political uncertainty that contributed to the depreciation of the rand.

He said his key interest is moving the country forward, not focusing on individuals.

Ramaphosa described the pending commission of inquiry into state capture as a "huge plus", as "we are now going to go to the depths of what corruption has been taking place in our state-owned enterprises (SOEs)".

"Everyone agrees our state was captured by corrupt elements, by people who purported to be close to the president, who have been doing really bad things and getting into many state institutions", he said.

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