Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) have welcomed the decision by the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) national executive committee to recall President Jacob Zuma after his refusal to voluntarily step down.
The announcement was delivered on Tuesday at party headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg.
“The refusal to resign shows Zuma is uniquely unfit to hold this important office,” BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale said in a statement.
He added that the impasse over Zuma’s tenure has created debilitating uncertainty for South Africa’s economy, as it has deferred important political calendar events including the delivery of the State of the Nation Address, which effectively opens Parliament, and has threatened the National Budget’s delivery.
“We urge the ANC’s new leadership to act swiftly, but constitutionally, in removing their deployee from the high office so that the work of recovering our future can begin in earnest,” Mohale said.
Sacci also welcomed the decision to recall Zuma, which, it said, has caused anxiety and created uncertainty with regard to both governance and policy in the short to medium term.
"In this regard, we urge the ruling party to move with speed in settling the outstanding procedural matters including the conclusion of the Parliamentary processes to enable the programme of government to progress without delay. The further uncertainty on lack of time-lines will further cause uncertainty and hesitation as to where the country is headed," CEO Alan Mukoki said in a statement.
Saftu, said in a separate statement that ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa must immediately appoint a new National Director of Public Prosecutions, who would urgently bring Zuma to court.
“If found guilty, Zuma, together with criminals who have stolen billions of rands from the people in the public service, State-owned enterprises and private companies, must be punished severely,” Saftu said.
Zuma has not been given a deadline to step down, but had asked the ANC to give him three to six months to vacate his position in meetings held before the ANC's decision was announced.