VENTURES AFRICA – Activist and academic Dr Mamphele Ramphele’s launch of a new “party political platform” was good for a functioning democracy but was a long way from improving the South African economy, analysts said on Monday.
Steve Meintjes, a senior analyst at the Johannesburg-based Imara SP Reid, said the launch of the party was good because it would broaden democratic debate in the country.
“But at this stage it will take a long time before making any meaningful impact on the economy,” Meintjes told Ventures Africa. “If it gains traction, however, the new party will make investors sit up and take note.”
On Monday, Ramphele announced the formation of a “party political platform” whose first order of business would be to call for reform of South Africa’s electoral system.
Rumours have been endemic for weeks that the activist and doctor — a former MD of the World Bank — would enter the country’s political space through forming her own political party.
According to BD Live, she delivered a hard-hitting speech on how the dream of a democratic South Africa had been derailed by poor governance, corruption, nepotism, poverty and powerlessness.
“Our country is at risk because self-interest has become the driver of many of those in positions of authority who should be focused on serving the public,” BD Live quoted her as saying.
Dawie Roodt, a senior economist at Efficient Group, also told Ventures Africa that the launch of the party was going to improve international perceptions of this country to international investors.
“I think investors are going to come out and state their happiness around the formation of the new party,” Roodt said.