JOHANNESBURG, Major business groups here have welcomed the election of South African Deputy President Cyrile Ramaphosa as the next president of the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) to succeed South African and current ANC President Jacob Zuma.

The Chamber of Mines says it is hoping to see a renewed focus by the governing party following the election of a new leadership with businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as its president. It says the newly-elected ANC president and members of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) have a considerable task at hand.

The Chamber said here Tuesday that future of South Africa and its people depended on them.

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) congratulated the new team at the helm of the ruling party. BUSA affirmed that Business stood ready to work in partnership with the newly elected leadership to create a conducive environment for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

It said the new leadership would need to take decisive steps to build business confidence and address the country's declining fiscal and macro-economic position.

However, some market commentators are concerned about the mixed result of the election for ANC's top leadership. Three of the Top Six leaders elected are from Ramaphosa's camp, including the new president himself, while the other three are seen as backers of his rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was defeated by Ramaphosa.

0BNP Paribas South Africa senior economist Jeff Schultz said it might be difficult for the party to self-correct, given the number of what he described as pro-Zuma members in the Top Six.

We are pretty disappointed. It is clear that the make-up of the Top Six is split between the Cyril Ramaphosa camp and Zuma camp, you have two premier leaguers. We don't view that as a positive market outcome. It's probably one of the poor outcomes we could have hoped for in terms of the ANC self-correcting between now and 2019. I think some negativity will start creeping back into the currency.

However, n the foreign exchange market, the Rand continued to firm to R12.68 Tuesday on the news of Ramaphosa's election. It is the strongest level the Rand has reached against the greenback in at least three months.

The local currency has been on the upward curve amid anticipation of a political change that could lead to improved economic conditions in South Africa.