Risk analysts have stuck out their necks and predicted that Cyril Ramaphosa will likely emerge victorious in the ANC’s succession battle‚ but this may not translate to an easy ride for business.
Global consultancy Control Risks launched its 2017 Riskmap on Tuesday‚ forecasting the potential impact of political events on business.
In its Southern African outlook‚ it found that succession politics had emerged as a trend in the risk profiles of countries in the region.
Angola‚ Zimbabwe‚ and South Africa are all due to see new leaders or prospective leaders chosen in the coming year.
Control Risks analyst Seamus Duggan said that in South Africa former African Union commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was likely to lose to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“There’s two things we need to look at when we’re talking about the ANC succession. The first of them is whether Cyril Ramaphosa is able to split the KwaZulu-Natal branch delegate vote at the December 2017 conference.
“It has traditionally been a Dlamini-Zuma stronghold but it increasingly looks like Ramaphosa is going to be able to split the KZN vote through the support of key figures such as Zweli Mkhize and Senzo Mchunu.”
Divisions in the ANC’s premier league lobby group are also likely to play out in Ramaphosa’s favour‚ Duggan said.
The succession battle has led to uncertainty in policy-making and a dive in investor confidence‚ but Duggan warned business that the ANC’s increased use of language like “radical economic transformation” was likely no more than an effort from party factions to mobilise support ahead of the elective conference.
If Ramaphosa does clinch the ANC’s leading position‚ business is likely to benefit but not with ease‚ he said.
“The current succession politics are being portrayed as Cyril Ramaphosa and reformists vs. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and traditionalists. The reality is the nature of this succession battle is far more messy. The implications for business are not going to be as clear-cut as portrayed.
“Both Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa face a deeply divided party and they face deeply entrenched patronage networks.”
Duggan said both contenders will struggle to impose any kind of vision on the party and therefore government.
“While under Ramaphosa we are likely to see a more pro-business approach from the ANC‚ he’s going to struggle to implement this across his divided party.”
– TMG Digital