Gupta empire collapses as Zuma exits South African presidency

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering his State of the Nation Address 2018 during the joint sitting of parliament in the National assembly Cape Town. 16/02/2018 Elmond Jiyane GCIS

Pics: Zuma's farewell party at Tuynhuys

Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted a farewell function for his predecessor Jacob Zuma at Tuynhuys in Cape Town on Tuesday afternoon.

The first increase in the sales tax since 1993 comes just over a year before national elections and could backfire on the African National Congress because it will affect its largely poor and middle-class supporters.

According to Gigaba, lower-income households will not suffer too greatly from the rise in Value-Added Tax, due to the zero-rating food items - such as maize and beans.

He was speaking at a charity dinner in Cape Town. "If you live on an extremely tight budget and have to count every rand you have, it will affect what you can buy".

The farewell - attended by various ministers, deputy ministers and Presidency officials - was aimed at paying tribute to Zuma "for his contribution to South Africa's development during his nine years in office", according to the Presidency.

Mr Zuma resigned after years of scandals that damaged the reputation of the ruling ANC, which had instructed him last week to step down or face a parliamentary motion of no confidence that he would nearly certainly lose.

Growth rose to 0.9 percent last year from a paltry 0.3 percent the previous year. The ruling party may be banking on stronger growth this year boosting income, allowing it to provide relief and placate voters in next year's budget.

Zuma last week Wednesday announced his resignation as state president with immediate effect last week.

Among attendees of the event are cabinet ministers, members of parliament; members of executive councils, directors-general, heads of state-owned enterprises and executives from the private sector.

Gigaba, who is widely seen as a Zuma loyalist, jokingly asked Ramaphosa "how much time do I have, sir?" as he started to deliver his speech.

"We expect markets to continue to price in a reduced likelihood that South Africa is subjected to World Government Bond Index (WGBI) exclusion", says Khan.

During his State of the Nation address, newly-minted State President Cyril Ramaphosa made mention of the ocean economy, noting the national effort to develop this frontier for economic growth. "There is positive sentiment". While opposition parties have concerns about the contents of the budget speech and who is delivering it.

South Africa's finance ministry said it was set to spell out "tough decisions" in its 2018 budget to be presented before the Parliament today.

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