BLSA

Bulletin

 BLSA Bulletin   |   Twelfth Edition  

Introduction

At the time of writing, President Cyril Ramaphosa had just signed the NHI Bill into law, despite widespread concern that the bill’s socioeconomic ramifications had not been considered.

Business’s view that the bill in its current form will not deliver on the promise of access to quality healthcare for South Africa’s citizens is well documented.  There have been repeated efforts by BLSA and BUSA to get the bill amended, including a detailed proposal that would see the private and public sectors working together to deliver universal access to quality health care for all South Africans. 

The timing, just weeks before the national elections, can only be seen as an electioneering ploy.  As I have previously stated, political campaigns are a distraction to the business of running the country, particularly at a crucial time for us to make progress on the major challenges facing our economy.

On the positive side, in this edition we note several encouraging developments that will ultimately result in a more conducive environment for business. An example is the work being done to implement the Transnet Freight Logistics Roadmap. BLSA is supporting various workstreams with the aim of fostering greater private sector involvement in rail and logistics.

We also note that several key bills necessary for the implementation of structural reforms in the criminal justice system, the public services sector, transport and logistics, as well as water and energy are also moving forward in the legislative process, with several awaiting the President’s signature.  Given their importance, we remain hopeful that these will be signed ahead of the elections. 

The role and impact of Operation Vulindlela is an example of how collaboration between business, labour, and the government can accelerate the implementation of structural reforms, with business, through BLSA, providing the resources they have at their disposal to support economic recovery. 

The news that load shedding will be significantly reduced to only Stage 1 by the end of this year and entirely eradicated by the end of 2025 has been received with a mixture of relief and incredulity. 

The skepticism is not surprising, given the government’s track record, but the fact remains that the measures introduced thus far to address electricity constraints and the immediate logistics challenge have already had a profound effect.  Importantly, the vote of confidence from business should give South Africans hope that change is possible if we continue to prioritise economic growth and job creation beyond the upcoming elections.

As always, we applaud the commitment of our members to playing their part in getting our economy back on track, notwithstanding the challenges that many are experiencing in their own businesses. 

Sincerely
Busisiwe Mavuso
CEO

Strategy and Policy Update

Near-term outlook and noteworthy recent developments

Operation Vulindlela’s progress report for Q1 2024

While the Presidency has not yet released the latest progress report on Operation Vulindlela (OV), we highlight some of the reforms linked to OV’s work.

Freight Logistics Roadmap Implementation

The Transnet Freight Logistics Roadmap, which forms a major part of OV’s agenda and the agenda for the National Logistics Crisis Committee (NLCC), was  adopted by Cabinet in December 2023 and published.

The roadmap, which aims to address the steep deterioration in freight rail services and ongoing port inefficiencies through innovative public-private partnerships,  sets out a clear plan outlining what needs to be achieved as well as the implementation timelines. All 37 actions are expected to be completed by April 2025. The NLCC will oversee the implementation of the roadmap. Some of the key pillars to drive the process forward are:

  • The new rail infrastructure manager, with its own management and reporting structure, to manage, operate, and maintain as well as open up the rail network to third-party freight operators by simplifying contracting arrangements
  • The proposed independent transport economic regulator (TER) to ensure a level competitive playing field in ports and rail.

BLSA is now supporting various workstreams to implement the roadmap, with the intention of ultimately fostering greater private sector involvement in rail and logistics. Specifically, BLSA support is currently concentrating on assisting with the establishment of the Transport Economic Regulator, the National Ports Authority, supporting the Draft Transnet Rail Network Statement, and assisting with the Draft National Rail Bill.

New regulations to reform the visa system gazetted

Following the draft published earlier this year, the Department of Home Affairs gazetted the new regulations to reform the visa system. The reforms include:

  • A remote working or digital nomad visa, which forms part of a visitor’s visa, for foreign employees conducting work for foreign employers on a remote basis. To be considered, applicants must earn no less than a minimum annual income of R1m. If the visa is issued for a period exceeding six months in a 12-month period, applicants are required to register with the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
  • A points-based system for existing work visas, namely, the general work visa, critical skills work visa and intra-company transfer work visa.

We expect the new reforms in the immigration system to come into force in the second half of this year under a new executive or legislature. Visa reforms are under the radar of OV.

Legislation tracker - What’s happened between February – April 2024?

There are several key bills that have moved forward in the legislative process which are necessary for the implementation of structural reforms in the criminal justice system, the public services sector, transport and logistics, as well as water and energy. 

The National Assembly (NA) passed the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill, and it has been sent to the NCOP for concurrence. However, this bill has been criticised for its extensive definitions of national security and threats to national security as well as the extent of interference allowed by state security functionaries. The Bill dissolves the State Security Agency and modifies the intelligence services into the South African Intelligence Agency, the South African Intelligence Service, the National Communications Centre, and the South African National Academy of Intelligence.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Amendment Bill, intended to permanently establish the Investigating Directorate (ID) as part of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), was passed in the NCOP on 13 March 2024 and has been sent to the President for approval. It is expected to be a boost the fight against corruption as well as serious commercial and organised crime. The bill is frequently cited by government as proof that it is implementing the recommendations of the Zondo Commission into State Capture.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate Amendment Bill, which is aimed at establishing the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) as an independent entity by limiting the minister’s political powers, is also on the president’s desk for signature.

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Judicial Matters Amendment Bill into law (Judicial Matters Amendment Act). The key feature of this Act is the introduction of a new criminal offence, namely the failure to prevent corruption. In other words, organisations (private and public) are required to prevent corrupt practices from occurring in the first instance and if they do not, they will be held criminally liable. This Act is also key in efforts to remove South Africa from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s) grey list.

The Economic Regulation of Transport Bill, which aims to establish a transport economic regulator, is still awaiting presidential signature after being passed by both the (National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and the National Assembly (NA).

The National Water Resources Infrastructure Bill was approved in the NA despite objections from the DA, EFF, IFP, ACDP and FFPlus. As a Section 75 Bill, the NCOP process does not require provincial public hearings. However, time frames are tight to adopt it before the 29 May general elections.

New proposed bills by post-election parliament

There are some bills that are unlikely to be completed by the current parliament and may be revived by the new parliament after the May elections. These include the National Water Resources Infrastructure Bill and the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill. The new parliament is expected to commence in June or July 2024. Around that period there are draft bills that will be formally tabled, namely:

  • Immigration Amendment Bill
  • Electronic Deeds Systems Amendment Bill
  • National Environmental Management Biodiversity Bill
  • Local Government Laws Amendment Bill
  • Municipal Structures Amendment Bill (Coalition Bill)
  • Intergovernmental Monitoring, Support and Interventions Bill

Energy and Environment

National Energy Crisis Committee

In support of the National Energy Crisis Committee (NECOM), the Energy Council has launched an energy data modelling platform that addresses specific challenges and facilitate collaboration among data modelling experts and entities.

NECOM is also working closely with Eskom and interfacing with the Presidency to establish a critical path/plan outlining key energy recovery goals, timelines, and generation plans necessary to address issues such as load shedding. The collaboration with Eskom, facilitated through Business for South Africa (B4SA) and the Presidency, aims to provide clarity on the impact and value of these initiatives. It emphasises the need for accountability, clear communication channels, and understanding the implications if the plans are not implemented.

Through the partnership between the Presidency, NECOM and B4SA significant progress has been made over the past nine months in the energy areas/ workstreams.

  • 5 W grid capacity unlocked
  • New generation investment doubled
  • 5 GW RFPs released to procure 5GW of renewable energy, 2GW of gas-to-power, 0.6GW of battery storage
  • 66% reduction in load shedding severity and duration over the last 12 weeks year-on-year (5.8 TWhr -> 1.97 TWhr)
  • Independent board appointed for the National Transmission Company of South Africa (NTCSA)
  • Debt relief package for Eskom.

Energy: Status of critical paths and priorities

Electricity Regulation Amendment (ERA) Bill

The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy (PCMRE) conducted provincial public hearings on the Electricity Regulation Amendment (ERA) Bill from 26 September 2023 to 29 January 2024 in all nine provinces. Following these hearings, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) was invited on 14 February 2024 to respond to the Committee’s consolidated Provincial Public Hearings Report. The PCMRE held deliberations on the ERA Bill and found general agreement and support for the bill. However, the DMRE and the State Law Advisers have since announced that the ERA Bill must be dealt with under the procedure established in section 76 of the Constitution. The bill has subsequently been read in the National Assembly (NA) and adopted by the NA alongside the PCMRE’s report.

The bill was transferred to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrence, and the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy began its public consultation process by opening the commenting period on the Bill which closed on Monday, 29 April 2024. At a recent NEDLAC Energy Security Workstream meeting, NECOM expressed confidence that the Bill will be passed before the end of the current administration. On 2 May 2024, the select committee on energy passed the ERA Bill in the NCOP without amendments.

Integrated Resource Plan

On 4 January 2024 the DMRE published the Draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2023, with the closing date for comments set for 23 February 2024. This was subsequently extended to 23 March 2024 after Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) submitted a request for a further 30-day extension to obtain a proper analysis of the economic and technology cost data and underlying assumptions, and conduct a thorough examination and replication of the modelling.

Consultants were appointed to provide critical analysis of the Draft IRP 2023, and an ad hoc IRP Working Group was established to ensure that BUSA’s submission to the DMRE was well informed.

The submission highlighted:

  • the importance of adopting a “business-unusual” approach to address the energy crisis, stressing the critical role of reliable and affordable energy in fostering economic growth
  • the need for private sector investment in the energy sector to drive GDP growth, job creation, and fiscal revenues
  • shortcomings in the draft IRP 2023, including the lack of detail, infrequent updates, and delays in review timelines, necessitating greater clarity, transparency, and frequency in updating the long-term energy plan.

Key points included the importance of accurate cost assumptions in technology selection, aligning the IRP with national economic policies, resolving challenges in public procurement, and incorporating precise demand projections.

Concerns were raised about potential delays in decommissioning coal-fired plants and the impact of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism on South African exports. Policy clarity regarding market reforms and the role of the private sector was deemed crucial, with recommendations for refining assumptions and modelling techniques in subsequent versions of the IRP2023. The submission strongly advocated for a transition away from coal-fired generation and prioritising renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and gas-fired generation, alongside battery storage.

Recommendations included refining assumptions and modelling techniques, fast-tracking procurement of gas-fired generation, and promoting transmission grid strengthening. Additionally, there was a call for policy adjustments and considering alternative scenarios for innovation and sustainable development in South Africa’s energy sector.

Eskom unbundling and battery procurement

The unbundling of the National Transmission Company of South Africa (NTCSA) as the transmission and system market operator into a sub-co entity of the Eskom Holdco has been completed. However, challenges remain. For example, the entity shares creditworthiness with Eskom, which then limits its financial autonomy. There is a need for clear timelines and commitments for NTCSA to transition into a separate company, alongside addressing concerns regarding leadership, creditor engagement, and the treatment of stakeholders.

The DMRE and the Independent Power Producers (IPP) office has launched South Africa’s third public procurement round for utility-scale batteries (BESIPPPP BW3), aiming to purchase 616 MW of battery storage for five pre-selected substation sites. The deadline for bids is 31 July 2024. Additionally, the deadline for submitting bids for BESIPPPP BW2, which was introduced in December last year, has been extended from 30 April to 6 June 2024.

While there is optimism about finance opportunities for the industry, concerns persist regarding skills availability and local content in the battery industry due to limited local manufacturing capacity.

Gas supply issue and stakeholder engagement

Due to Sasol’s projected inability to supply gas from mid-2026, BUSA has identified the importance of engaging with various key stakeholders such as Eskom, the IPP office, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), the Minister of Electricity, the DMRE, Central Energy Fund (CEF), and Transnet Pipelines (TPL) to find an urgent solution.

The following interventions to mitigate the risks associated with the impending gas crisis have been identified:

  • Gas-to-power solutions off the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investments Company (ROMPCO)
  • Facilitate a linkage between the ROMPCO and the Lilly pipelines
  • Eskom to buy or import power from Mozambique
  • Development of the Matola Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) facility in Mozambique
  • Intervention by the government at a commercial or funding level, either to underwrite the infrastructure development or engage in urgent interventions

The IPP office is in the process of requesting proposals (GASIPPP RFP), and as part of their Gas Master Plan, they need to implement gas-to-power capacity.

A meeting with the Minister of Electricity to discuss a mitigation strategy for the impending gas crisis  took place on 24 April 2024.

Climate Change Bill

Carbon Budget and Mitigation Plan Regulations – BUSA and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) held a stakeholder workshop on 13 February 2024 to develop the carbon budget and mitigation plan regulations. Business actively participated in presenting the views of the business community and has requested feedback from DFFE on the outcomes of the information-sharing session. Furthermore, the Climate Change Bill was recently approved by Parliament and is waiting to be signed into law by the President.

On 1 February 2024, the National Business Initiative (NBI) presented the outcomes of COP28 during the BUSA Environment Subcommittee Meeting. The presentation covered several key outcomes, including the following:

  • Developed countries will continue to lead the way in transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems in a just, orderly, and equitable manner.
  • Targets have been established for the global goal on adaptation and its framework.
  • An agreement has been reached on how to fund arrangements for addressing loss and damage, with a current pledge of $700 million.
  • To achieve the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a reduction of 43% in global greenhouse gas emissions is required by 2030, 60% by 2025, and net zero emissions by 2050.
  • Inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that do not address energy poverty or Just Transitions will be phased out.
  • The importance of protecting and restoring nature and ecosystems was emphasised.

The global stocktake report indicated that the world is not on track to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement

Economic Policy

Trade, Transport and Logistics

African Continental Free Trade Area

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) trade negotiations under the new preferences set out in the AfCFTA agreement were launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition of South Africa, Ebrahim Patel on Wednesday 31 January 2024 at Pier 1 in Durban. 

Twelve countries, including South Africa, finalised their legal modalities to enable trade to commence in thousands of product lines, ranging from food and beverages to steel products and equipment, taxis, pharmaceutical and personal care products, chemical products, and household goods such as fridges and televisions. Following the launch, South Africa officially initiated its first shipment of products to other countries under the AfCFTA agreement, making it the first among the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) member states to practically realise the AfCFTA agreement.

World Trade Organisation’s 13th Ministerial Conference

The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) took place from 26 February to 2 March 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ministers from across the world attended to assess and review the functioning and performance of the multilateral trading system, and to take corrective action/steps on the future work of the WTO.

The Conference was chaired by H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade. In preparation for the WTO MC13, NEDLAC’s Technical Sectoral Liaison Committee (Teselico) and the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition held multiple meetings to formulate the South African position. Among various priorities, the South African stance advocated for the renewal of the WTO Moratorium on e-commerce, Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), Fisheries Subsidies Agreement, WTO Reform, Agriculture and Food Security, and Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Policy statement on localisation for jobs and industrial growth

On 15 February 2024 BUSA, through NEDLAC Trade and Industry Chamber (TIC), submitted a written response to the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition regarding the policy statement on localisation for jobs and industrial growth. 

The BUSA submission centred on past and present initiatives related to localisation in South Africa, incorporating global case studies. The submission included proposals for the government to consider, focusing on the following key areas:

  • Competitiveness and feasibility
  • Imports and exports
  • Public procurement laws and regulations
  • Localisation policy and its economic impact on the economy.

Companies Amendment Bills

On 26 January 2024, BUSA made a submission to the National Council of Provinces regarding the Companies Amendment Bills. The submission noted that while Business is supportive of fair remuneration systems in South Africa, including the promotion of a living wage for employees, there are concerns regarding certain aspects of proposed amendments, particularly sections 26(1) and 30A.

The key points presented by Business are:

  • Support for the proposal that remuneration policy be tabled for approval at AGMs every three years, aligning with international practice. The principle of enhanced pay gap disclosure is also supported, while further clarity is needed on the specifics.
  • The proposed sanction for committee members to step down or stand for re-election if the Remuneration Policy or Implementation Report fails to pass an ordinary resolution was opposed. The argument is that the sanction could have harmful, impractical, and counterproductive consequences, potentially deterring well-qualified directors from serving on the committee. It was also noted that Remuneration Committees represent a broad range of stakeholders, not only employees but the broader community as well.
  • The proposed ordinary resolution would make South Africa the country with the most onerous requirements in terms of remuneration governance for listed companies and State-Owned Enterprises, advocating for the current non-binding advisory vote approach as more constructive and aligned with global market practices.

In conclusion, the submission emphasised the importance of balancing effective remuneration governance with practicality and global market alignment, urging further consideration of proposed amendments to avoid unintended negative consequences.

National State Enterprises Bill

On 1 March 2024, BUSA made a submission on the newly gazetted National State Enterprises Bill. The overall comments were that the amendments to the bill are sufficient to the extent that the concerns previously raised by Business are addressed. However, there was a  request for the following additions:

  • Clear guidelines to limit the President’s discretion in disregarding the committee’s recommendations, while acknowledging the proposal for a Parliamentary Advisory Committee (PAC) to oversee board appointments
  • Additionally, in as much as Business appreciates the importance of National Strategy, it is not in favour of it being legislated as it may result in a legislative burden for future review and amendment of the proposed strategy.
  • Specificity in the guidelines for nominating the Hold Company’s Board of Directors – importance of clearly defined requirements beyond vague mentions of skills, knowledge, experience, and integrity. Concerns were raised regarding the appointment of the board, particularly the potential for political interference due to the significant powers granted to the President.
  • Clarity regarding funding of the holding company, specifically private equity investment prospects and share issuance processes, especially given the diverse financial standing of the SOEs involved.
  • Alignment of the bill with existing legislation governing SOEs, particularly the Companies Act and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Concerns were raised over the absence of public consultation in proposing amendments via Schedule C, and the removal of PFMA provisions in the second draft, leaving expenditure management at the discretion of accounting officers without clear guidelines. Additionally, BUSA called for clarity on the transfer of land between SOEs, stressing the importance of incorporating provisions outlining terms and criteria to avoid ambiguity.
  • Recommendation for further exploration of the rationale for establishing a Hold Company through white and green papers, along with an impact assessment to understand the bill’s economic and social effects
  • Suggestion that each SOE develop a rescue strategic plan to address operational, governance, and financial challenges, emphasising the importance of transparent and accountable governance structures within the proposed legislation.

Public Service Amendment Bill

The Public Service Amendment (PSA) Bill was tabled in the National Assembly on 19 May 2023. Following an extensive process that included a period of public comment and public hearings, the bill was passed on 27 February 2024 and then transmitted to the NCOP for concurrence.

Social Policy

National Health Insurance

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the NHI Bill into law on Wednesday, 15 May 2024, discounting the significant public comment that has found the bill to be unworkable, economically damaging.  Both BUSA and BLSA issued statements ahead of the announcement, expressing their concerns in the strongest possible terms.

As stated in BLSA’s media release, BLSA fully supports the call for universal access to quality health care for all South Africans. However, we reiterate our belief that this poorly conceived Bill will obstruct – not facilitate – access to quality healthcare for citizens in our country.

Employment Equity Amendment Act

Following the Draft Regulations on the Proposed Sectoral Numerical Targets 2023, Section 15A of the Employment Equity Act (EEA), 1998, that was published for public comment in May 2023, the Minister of Employment and Labour released new draft regulations on 1 February 2024, affording interested parties a period of 90 days to comment. The deadline for submissions was 2 May 2024.

Among other things, the February 2024 regulations now clearly specify that to meet the relevant five-year sectoral targets, employers must set annual numerical goals against which they will be assessed.  Furthermore, when compared to the 2023 regulations, the new draft regulations do not separate the national and provincial targets for each occupational level in each sector.

On 28 February 2024 BUSA held a workshop regarding the Draft Employment Equity Regulations on Proposed Sectoral Numerical Targets. The workshop, which was well attended by BLSA members, reviewed the legal provisions contained in the Draft EE Regulations and unpacked the business and employment-related impact. The intricacies of the Draft Regulations and the importance of careful planning and monitoring for compliance with the EEA amendments were highlighted.

The topics covered were Ministerial Target Provisions, sectoral numerical targets, and the implementation of Affirmative Action (AA) measures.

A summary of the draft regulations and targets as they currently stand is set out below.

1. Sectoral Numerical Targets

  • While 18 economic sectors remain unchanged, alterations have been made to the targets in the financial and insurance sector.
  • The revised layout of the targets no longer includes specific sub-race and gender targets.
  • By 2029, designated employers are required to meet minimum requirements unless there are justifiable reasons for non-compliance exist.

Meeting ministerial targets within five years ensures immediate progression to the applicable Economically Active Population (EAP) without regression.

2. Targets Framework

  • Designated employers should not set targets for groups exceeding their EAP at a particular occupational level.
  • Designated employers must set targets for the four upper levels where groups are underrepresented relative to the EAP.
  • Where the designated employer has exceeded the set target at an occupational level, they may not regress but should set targets towards the EAP.
  • Designated employers cannot use national and provincial EAPs at the same time; the provincial EAP can be used if the majority of employees are located in one province.
  • A designated employer must select the sector in which most of their employees operate.

3. Implementation of AA Measures

  • AA measures are temporary and nuanced strategies aimed at achieving equality, EAP being “only one of many factors” that will be considered when assessing compliance (as opposed to target setting).
  • The application of AA should consider various factors, including inherent job requirements, suitable qualified persons, and the acquisition of skills over time, with no absolute barrier placed on non-designated groups

PR & Communications

BLSA Website

From 17 January to 31 March 2024 the new BLSA website obtained 4500 visitors and 5109 pageviews. Visitors spent an average of 1:01 minutes on the site. 37% of BLSA’s website visitors accessed the site through organic searches, 33% through direct links, 16% through referral links and 14% through social media. The home page attracted the most visitors followed by the management page, membership and strategic focus areas pages.

 

Page Title 

Pageviews 

/Blsa 

3.6k 

/management/ 

566 

/membership/ 

329 

/strategic-focus-areas/ 

311 

/about-us/ 

303 

/media-statements/media-statement-a-realistic-budget-commendable-in-an-election-year/ 

280 

7

/news-and-media/     

272

/thought-leadership/blsas-ceos-weekly-newsletter-skills-development-is-needed-in-municipalities 

217 

/thought-leadership/category/ceo-newsletter/ 

207 

10 

/thought-leadership/blsas-ceos-weekly-newsletter-new-gas-deal-urgently-needed/ 

193

BLSA CEO’s Weekly Newsletter

Subscription to the CEO’s weekly newsletter remained relatively stable throughout the period. On 31 March 1935 subscribers were recorded, an increase of 11 new subscribers since 15 January 2024. The strategy to acquire new subscribers should start yielding results in subsequent report periods. 

Top-performing content disseminated via Mailchimp was the BLSA CEO’s Weekly Newsletter of 11 March 2024 (GDP Figures are a very loud clarion call to action) with a total of 688 opens, while the lowest performing content was the newsletter of 5 February 2024, which focused on the upcoming State of the Nation (Sona) speech, with a total of 542 opens.

The average open rate for CEO’s Weekly Newsletter has increased from 31% to 33% against   an average of 10.5% across all industries. This extremely positive performance and high media pickup confirm the importance of the newsletter as an agenda-setting piece of communication, both locally and internationally.

The open rates per geography highlight the significant level of international interest in BLSA content. Many newsletter subscribers are from the United States, followed by South Africa and Sweden. 

Social media overview - 18 January – 31 March 2024

While the combined BLSA/Busisiwe Mavuso Twitter/X account continues to be the top performing social media platform for BLSA, with 36,100 followers 468,000 impressions, there has been a significant increase in LinkedIn’s performance across all metrics. 

Social media engagement 
Engagement shows interactions (comments and retweets) with each post. The engagement rate on LinkedIn improved from 1.63% to 2.06%. While the engagement rate for Twitter/X dropped from 17,34% to 9,3%, this is because posts were not boosted during the period. The rate remains way above the sector average of 1,3%.   

The engagement rate on Facebook dropped from 2,1% to 0,7%. During the period of review Facebook rejected the content we tried to boost, on the basis that it went against its boosting policy.


Sentiment
The sentiment in conversations was predominantly neutral and reflects the nature of the content emanating from the organisation.  BLSA’s Net sentiment (positive minus negative) saw a slight decline during the period of review of almost 4 pp due to a marginal dip in positive conversation and a minor uptick in negative conversation.