Cyril Ramaphosa, the newly elected leader of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC), may have sparked a jubilant reaction in markets, but experts warn that his potential to reform may be constrained by politics.
Ramaphosa's victory "signals that the era of economic vandalism under (South African President) Jacob Zuma is now drawing to a close," Ben Payton, head of Africa at consultancy Verisk Maplecroft, said in a note Monday. But, "Ramaphosa will not provide a magic bullet to solve the country's economic problems," he added.
"Fiscal reform implementation may be challenged by the close proximity to the May 2019 national elections," Gyorgy Kovacs, chief economist for emerging EMEA at UBS, said in a note Tuesday. Kovacs tempered hopeful sentiment by reiterating that UBS was still "neutral" on South Africa.