BLSA Bulletin   |   Ninth Edition


The groundwork for change – for the better, or for the worse – is laid incrementally, over years or decades. Then, suddenly, its consequences are delivered.

On 31 August, a fire in an Albert Street building in Johannesburg killed 74 people. The revelations were nightmarish; bodies piled high before locked gates, sheets hanging from second-story windows down which people clambered to escape. The roster of the dead includes 12 children.

As so often in our country, it was a crisis emerging from a confluence of systematic failures. Once the scene had been set – hundreds of people crammed into informal structures throughout a building that had been condemned, an inadequate emergency response infrastructure, and no clear line of accountability – the result was almost inevitable.

According to media reports, 400 buildings in Johannesburg have been declared unsafe. When corners are cut, when the buck is passed, when vision is lost and opportunism reigns, these are the horrific results.

This is why we cannot accept mediocrity. This is why our standards need to be exceptional. This is why we must constantly judge our course of action against the best possible course of action; not out of pride, but because our standards, our values and our actions are made real and visible every day in the lives of our fellow citizens. Our actions, and our inactions, have consequences. These moments are cause for shared pain, sympathy, but also anger, and renewed commitment to the better project.  

Throughout this bulletin we see examples of steady, committed work to undo the erosions of capability and build a better future for our country.

We partnered with the GIBS Centre for Business Ethics to publish an Anti-Corruption Working Guide for South Africa, funded by BLSA.  I encourage members to download the guide, which gives companies a comprehensive, workable plan to tackle corruption.

We continue to provide technical expertise to Operation Vulindlela (OV), a unit within the Presidency that works with National Treasury to accelerate reforms and have partnered with the OV team to assist with the general and critical skills visas initiative, making it easier and more desirable for skilled professionals to move to South Africa. Similarly, our work to support the National Electricity Crisis Committee (NECOM), the National Logistics Crisis Committee (NLCC) and the Department of Water & Sanitation continues with a view to capacitating these critical economic foundations.

Inputs have been submitted in respect of the Draft Expropriation Bill 2022, Employment Equity Regulations (EER) targets, Climate Change Bill and Water Use Licenses. Steady progress has been made in the development of the private-sector participation framework, which will be crucial for strengthening state-owned entities and attracting investment to the rail industry. A Business Roundtable Meeting with Eskom identified several promising initiatives, including shovel-ready projects that will aid infrastructure rollout.

We are empowering prosecutorial and law enforcement authorities with human, technical and other resources, and continue to support government to improve the quality of the civil service. The Eyes and Ears (E2) joint crime-fighting initiative grows in terms of membership and effect. TAMDEV, a collaboration between government and business, will deploy appropriate retired expertise and technical skills from both the private and public sectors to strengthen vulnerable public institutions.

BLSA and Business Against Crime South Africa partnered with child-abuse prevention NGO Matla a Bana to create a state-of-the-art facility to assist forensic social workers at the Tembisa South Police Station to collect evidence from victims of GBV and sexual crimes.

In comparison to the swift destruction meted out by the fire in Johannesburg, this work might seem incremental. But the truth is that the eventual result of the steady enhancement of capacity and values is inevitable, just as the steady erosion of capacity and values has been. Committed, incremental change driven by people with a vision of a better South Africa is the only thing that will right our course.

The failures that have resulted in the crises we see today around our country did not take place suddenly; they have accumulated over years. That is what makes them so difficult to reverse. Our efforts to do so will also take time. However, if we are committed to working to better our situation, the results of our efforts to build a better South Africa are likewise inevitable. Business cannot afford to be docile. We must roll up our sleeves and build, because the alternative is simply not permissible.

Yours sincerely

Busisiwe Mavuso

Table of Contents

Strategy Update

Launch of Anti-Corruption Working Guide for South African Companies

As part of our mission to combat corruption and improve ethical conduct in South African business, we have funded the Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs) to produce a guide for South African companies to fight corruption.

Launched at the end of August, the report draws on the detailed findings of the Zondo Commission. It sets out an approach that will help companies build their resistance to corruption of all kinds and provides a comprehensive, workable plan to tackle corruption.

To read the anti-corruption working guide for South African companies click here:

The guide sets out eight key principles that should be incorporated into an anticorruption policy. Briefly, these are:

  1. The tone from the top or the role of the board – ensuring that the right culture is set and insulating anti-corruption efforts in the business from outside pressure.

  2. Adopting and publishing an anti-corruption policy – doing so publicly and demonstrating a commitment to zero tolerance.

  3. Forming and structuring an anti-corruption function – an autonomous department with lines of reporting directly to the board.

  4. Substance of the anti-corruption policy should cover rules on lobbying, donations, procedures for awards of large contracts, effective roles for internal auditors and more.

  5. Regular risk assessments to assess how risks are shifting in a dynamic environment and reviewing live contracts for risks.

  6. The role of whistleblowers – a clear process for handling whistleblowers including protection.

  7. The role of reparations – having an approach to determining reparations when something does go wrong.

  8. Guidelines for ethical lobbying – any political activities by companies must have a clear board-approved policy.

The efforts of BLSA in supporting the criminal justice system and developing guidance on corruption for business represent the collective actions of our members. However, the report calls for further collective action including formal forums to coordinate efforts to combat corruption including managing reports of corruption. We have experience in coordinating business efforts against crime and  will be engaging on these recommendations and how we can jointly act as business to combat corruption.

BLSA provides ongoing support to Operation Vulindela

Operation Vulindlela (OV) is a unit within the Presidency that works with National Treasury to accelerate reforms, particularly by identifying and overcoming obstacles to ensure execution on policy commitments and expedite implementation of pro-growth structural reforms for the benefit of business and the broader South African political economy.

BLSA provides technical expertise to OV so it can attain its objectives.

BLSA has supported OV by providing assistance with the following:

  • Coordination of transport reforms
  • Transport regulatory issues (including third party access)
  • Training and capacity building to improve infrastructure procurement in the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS)
  • National Water Resource Infrastructure Agency (NWRIA) business case.

Support to OV on general and critical skills visa reform

BLSA partnered with the OV team to assist with the general and critical skills visas initiative, which aims to enable skilled professionals to move to South Africa for work, thereby benefitting the economy.

BLSA’s partnership with OV aimed to identify improvements that could be made to the policy framework and processes for work visas. The project has been completed and a close-out report has been submitted to the board.

OV has subsequently requested funding for a legal opinion on whether key recommendations on visa reform require an amendment to the Act or may be implemented via regulations. BLSA is of the opinion that a legislative amendment will result in significant delays in the implementation of visa reform, to the detriment of BLSA members and the broader economy.  

Resourcing of Presidential SOE Council workstreams

TAMDEV, a collaboration between government and business, aims to deploy appropriate retired expertise and technical skills from both the private and public sectors to strengthen vulnerable public institutions and address infrastructure provisioning and service delivery constraints.

TAMDEV has been appointed to oversee the resourcing of the Presidential SOE Council (PSEC). During 2023 we envisage that a report for each SOE will be finalised and the appointment of part-time advisors on SOE restructuring will be concluded.

NBI has been contracted to proceed with phase two of the project. Our work with PSEC remains on track following the finalisation of an initial report for the consideration of the Minister of Public Enterprises.

Whistleblower Support

BLSA encourages whistleblowing with the aim of combatting corruption in both the public and private sectors. In the absence of effective provisions for whistleblower protection, and in recognition of the critical role of whistleblowers in combatting corruption, BLSA has funded The Whistleblower House, an NGO well positioned to provide the holistic support required by whistleblowers.

Professionalisation of the Public Service*

One of BLSA’s core strategic goals is to support government to improve the quality of the civil service. To this end, BLSA has established contact with the National School of Government to determine the possibility of assisting with training public servants.


* A professional public service is one where people are recruited and promoted based on merit and potential, rather than connections or political allegiance.

Policy Update

Business Roundtable Meeting with Eskom

BLSA, in partnership with BUSA, Electricity Intensive Users Group, Energy Council, Minerals Council, Ferro Alloys Producers Association, SEIFSA, and Manufacturing Council, held a roundtable meeting with the Eskom Board and executive team on 19 April 2023. 

The meeting focused on power interruptions, Stage 6 Loadshedding, and Stage 4 Load Curtailment. The business delegation presented mitigation measures to minimise the impact of interruptions on members and allay their fears of grid collapse.

Eskom presented its turnaround strategy, focusing on demand-side management, infrastructure security, and investing in generation capacity with storage.

Key Takeouts

  • Eskom has shovel-ready projects for EIAs and DMRE Generation capacity, which can aid infrastructure rollout.
  • The company’s strategic direction focuses on short-term improvements and preparing for the Just Energy Transition.
  • The operational recovery plan aims to improve EAF from 56% to 65% by FY25. Long-term investment is needed for sustainability.
  • Eskom’s combination of NT debt relief and Nersa tariff decision will allow flexibility to fund Capex over the next five years.

Expropriation Bill

On 6 March 2023, BUSA submitted written inputs to the Draft Expropriation Bill 2022. BUSA’s view is that the proposed Bill is flawed and could negatively impact the South African economy.

More specifically, the proposed law:

  • is too broad and could lead to arbitrary expropriations, and should be tightened to ensure genuine public purposes and strict procedural safeguards;
  • lacks an adequate definition of ‘just and equitable’ compensation, which should be at least equal to market value;
  • contains an amended “Public Purpose” definition that is too broad and could lead to expropriations for private purposes.

NEDLAC Energy Security Workstream Update

The Nedlac Energy Security Workstream (ESW) monitors the implementation plan of the Eskom social compact, focusing on managing loadshedding, electricity shortages, energy generation procurement, debt recovery, clean governance, corruption, Eskom’s operating model, financial viability, impact investment, and a just transition package.

ESW received updates from government departments, Eskom, and social partners. However, the evolving crisis and developments in the electricity industry have prompted a shift in focus to address emerging issues. This has led to the establishment of special task teams to identify key areas requiring additional oversight and attention, including developing Nedlac Reports on proposed legislative amendments, including the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill.

Climate Change and the role of organised business

The Climate Change Bill is currently under review by the Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE), with the consultation process expected to conclude around September 2023.


In October 2022 BUSA submitted a report on the Climate Change Bill to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment, NEDLAC, and Parliament and delivered an oral presentation at public hearings. At a recent parliamentary portfolio committee meeting, members of civil society organisations and some NGOs made disparaging and unfounded comments about the role that organised business is playing in weakening climate action. The comments made during presentations to parliamentarians and the public wilfully misrepresented the role BUSA is playing in strengthening climate legislation and in encouraging ambitious climate action. Under the climate change working group, BUSA, in collaboration with BLSA, have begun to discuss a communication and engagement strategy to address this unfortunate development.

Water Use Licences

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) DG had a bilateral meeting with BUSA, which focused on identifying issues of concern while agreeing to modalities of engagement. 

BUSA’s recommendation was tabled in a meeting with DWS on 7 December 2022. A subsequent bilateral meeting on Water Use Licenses (WUL) has resulted in a possible solution to business concerns about the applicability and appropriateness of the WUL regime. After that, a task team was set up to assist in implementing remedial interventions for WULs for a particular period to test their effectiveness. The DWS hopes that the interventions work before it can agree to institutionalising provisional or draft WULs.

Currently the National Water Resource Infrastructure Agency Bill is at NEDLAC for consultation and the NEDLAC NWRIA Bill task team has been established. NEDLAC has yet to officially confirm the meetings’ scheduled dates. BLSA members were requested to submit inputs and comments on the Draft National Water Resource Infrastructure Agency bill by 17 April 2023.

The National Water Act will be made available for public comments.

Social Policy

National Health Insurance (NHI) under the spotlight

The National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, adopted in May 2023, aims to create a single public health fund financed through general taxes and higher-income contributions. 

However, there are challenges such as the lack of management, infrastructural and staffing issues faced by the public healthcare system, and the National Treasury’s inability to agree on funding for implementation. A Health Policy meeting was convened by BUSA on 29 June 2023 to provide feedback on the NHI Bill.

At the meeting business proposed three areas of intervention:

  • a joint meeting with the President to discuss achieving universal health coverage, proposing alternatives like low-cost benefit options for medical aids;
  • resizing NEHASA with a 50,000 nurses training programme;
  • structured contracts for public sector patients in private sector care facilities;
  • and staying informed about legal positioning.

Non-healthcare organisations, such as BLSA and BUSA, are relying on non-healthcare CEOs to address concerns about the NHI Bill. Internal discussions at the BUSA board have led to the establishment of a formalised arrangement with the government, consisting of four working streams: legal, technical, strategic communication, and human capital resourcing/capacity building.

About the second Presidential Health Summit Compact

The Second Presidential Health Summit Compact 2023 that took place on 4 and 5 May 2023 highlighted the importance of health security and universal health coverage for economic growth, job creation, and productivity. 

The objectives of the Compact are to provide a formal organising framework for stakeholders to translate resolutions into a signed agreement, provide a formal accountability framework for signatories, and provide an implementation, monitoring, reporting, and evaluation framework for health systems strengthening interventions, including National Health Insurance (NHI) reforms.

The Summit aims to accelerate progress towards the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, create a platform for intersectoral action to remove barriers to good quality healthcare services, and ensure the country remains on high alert for future pandemics with a well-articulated and adequately resourced Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Plan.

The Compact will build on the work of the 10 Commissions at the Summit. It will consist of 10 pillars and transform the resolutions into a Programme of Action with clear interventions and an M&E Framework. It will also be informed by the review of the first Presidential Health Compact 2019, reflect alternative and sustainable interventions, sustain the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of interventions, outline measures to strengthen the health system and accelerate reforms to usher in universal health coverage through NHI, and incorporate measures to ensure accountability for implementation and results.

Concerns about Employment Equity Regulations targets

On 19 May 2023, organised business wrote to the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) expressing concerns about the Employment Equity Regulations (EER) targets.

The financial and insurance activities sector faced criticism for deviating from the agreed targets, and the department reaffirmed their applicability in March 2023.

On 12 June 2023, BLSA, acting on behalf of organised business, made a draft submission, raising concerns about the Employment Equity Amendment Act (EEAA), the Department’s failure to publish regulations, and the Minister’s failure to comply with Section 15A, which requires determining sectoral numerical targets.

BLSA also raised concerns about the interpretation of Section 217 of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996, which requires procurement to be fair, equitable, transparent, competitive, and cost-effective. Business is of the view that the DEL should conduct target-setting with extra care for the transformation agenda and inclusive growth commitment. A procedurally sound process will result in realistic targets for sectors and sub-sectors, while increasing compliance and avoiding costly litigation. The DEL has not responded to the submission, but Business is scheduling a meeting with the Director General to discuss concerns.

Economic Policy:
Trade, Transport and Logistics

BUSA/ Operational Vulindlela (OV) Logistics Working Group update

Operation Vulindlela (OV) is consulting with organised business to finalise a logistics roadmap, seeking input on solutions and change structures. 

The first iteration of the roadmap, presented on 1 June 2023, aims to arrest performance decline and stabilise the freight logistics system. The long-term goal is to fundamentally restructure the logistics sector to achieve efficiency, competitiveness, and developmental outcomes.

Key topics covered in the roadmap include addressing freight rail challenges, establishing a separate Infrastructure Manager, establishing the National Ports Authority, developing Standard Access Agreements for 3rd Party Access, right-sizing the rail network, establishing, and applying PSP models, establishing partnerships at Durban and Ngqura container terminals, developing a sustainable subsidisation framework, and implementing economic regulation. BUSA and BLSA continue to engage OV in anticipation of the finalisation of the roadmap, believing it is a positive step towards addressing the logistics sector challenges in South Africa.

Recommendations to improve Private Sector Participation (PSP) Framework

BUSA and the Department of Transport discussed the development of the PSP framework, which is crucial for strengthening State-owned Entities (SOEs) and attracting investment to the rail industry. 

The BUSA submission focused on separating myths from facts, restructuring the rail process, considering institutional structures, transitioning to open-access competition, critical success factors for a PPP approach, and ensuring branch line utilisation in a PSP structure.

BUSA and BLSA recommended several actions to improve the PSP framework:

  1. It should be clear, concise, and provide a roadmap for implementation.
  2. It should consider specific challenges, such as operational efficiency and cost reduction.
  3. It should be flexible and accommodate different types of PSP arrangements, such as concessions, leases, and public-private partnerships.
  4. It should include a strong governance structure to protect stakeholder interests.

Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA) update

Committees established to address extortion affecting businesses

National and provincial priority committees have been established to address extortion affecting business. 

The SAPS representation in the national committee has been disappointing, with meetings cancelled due to non-attendance. This was one of the concerns raised at the BACSA/SAPS MoU Executive Committee meeting held on 4 April 2023, along with the inability to escalate cases. The SAPS National Commissioner has tasked SAPS management to resolve the issue.

The BACSA office in KwaZulu-Natal coordinates good work, with operational support from a dedicated unit of eThekwini Metro Police. However, SAPS assistance relies on a single Organised Crime Detective. Support from Visible Policing and Crime Intelligence is lacking across the country, and SAPS members are not aware of the official Extortion Strategy. Thus, operational response and the reporting of cases are problematic.

The media has recently focused on the “construction mafia,” with BACSA contributing to articles and interviews. The primary concern is that continued extortion stifles progress and foreign investment. Businesses must engage with communities, provide site management with the engagement and local employment information, and adhere to regulations from the Department of Employment and Labour.

Focus on infrastructure crime

The National Non-ferrous Metal Crime Combating Committee (NFMCCC) held a meeting in Pretoria on 31 May 2023.

At the meeting, the Infrastructure Crime Forum (ICF), consisting of infrastructure service providers, requested dedicated courts, task teams to be converted into permanent units, and SAPS stations to dedicate resources to infrastructure crime. Discipline and operational information feed, including vehicle lookouts, were discussed.

On 21 June 2023, the ICF met to discuss crime analysis and Transnet’s crime analysis platform. In June 2023, three convictions were made for infrastructure damage, with sentences ranging from five to 20 years.

Cameras installed in disadvantaged Gauteng townships

BACSA and Vumacam are installing 100 cameras in disadvantaged Gauteng townships, as part of a safer city concept. The cameras are installed at provincial and local government buildings, ensuring equipment integrity. Currently, 28 camera sites at Department of Education schools are operational, aiding law enforcement, policing and data analysis.

Launch of Tembisa child-friendly facility

South Africa’s rate of gender-based violence (GBV) is five times higher than the global average, with many cases going unreported and offenders escaping prosecution. 

To help address this, BLSA and its subdivision, BACSA partnered with Matla a Bana –an NGO that fights child abuse, to create a facility with state-of the art audio and visual recording equipment that will assist forensic social workers at the Tembisa South Police Station to collect evidence from victims of GBV and sexual crimes.

Based at the Tembisa South Police Station, the facility will be used by the Tembisa SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit, which focuses on high-priority cases and serves police stations in Tembisa, Ivory Park, Rabie Ridge, Edenvale, Olifantsfontein, Sebenza, Norkem Park, Kempton Park and OR Tambo.  The facility was launched on 23 June 2023. 

The PR and comms team assisted BACSA with the planning and marketing of the launch. Members of the media were invited to attend the launch, a media release was sent out to BLSA members and content was curated and shared across all BLSA social media platforms. The PR and comms teams took pictures and created YouTube videos of all the speakers from the event:

The launch was covered by The Tembisan Newspaper, Kempton Express Newspaper, Voice of Tembisa radio station, and Ekurhuleni News. The launch of the facility was also shared on the South African Police Services Twitter account which has 1.1 million users.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition camera systems to be installed

BACSA is assisting the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fanie Masemola, with the installation of 400 in-vehicle and border post Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera systems.

The SAPS will provide the hardware, while BACSA will assist with software deployment. The initiative will cover 21 border posts, making a significant difference to crime fighting and E2 effectiveness. The first units are expected to be installed in July 2023.

Eyes and Ears Initiative receives growing support

The Eyes and Ears Initiative (E2) is a joint crime-fighting initiative between the South African Police Service (SAPS), Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA), the Private Security Industry (PSI), and approved non-private security industry role-players. 

It aims to improve situational awareness by utilising private sector resources and geographic footprint. E2 began in 2018 and has become a well-established conduit for BACSA’s initiatives.

At the end of 2022 there were 287 approved private security organisations and approved non-private security industry role-players that were part of E2; compared to the previous year this is a 5.1% growth. The total number of crime incidents that occurred from January to June 2023 increased by 96% – a total of 180,563 incidents and 13,630 non- License Plate Recognition (LPR) incidents. Non-LPR incidents were initiated by various E2 partners indicating better cooperation among participants. These figures are an indication of the support for the initiative. Current feedback shows that the number of suspects handed over to the SAPS remains above 100 per month while the number of recovered vehicles is edging towards 200 per month.

NPA support shows progress

Our goal here is to empower prosecutorial and law enforcement authorities to combat corruption and State Capture’s legacy. Stakeholder engagements with NPA divisions have shown progress.

A project manager is actively deployed to assist the NPA with several projects, including the Impact Portfolio Steering Committee, Combating Corruption in South Africa and Prosecutorial Prioritisation Policy Pilot Project – House Breaking & Robberies.

Vodacom assists with Business Intelligence tool

A needs assessment for a Business Intelligence and Management tool began in December 2022. Vodacom’s team is developing a process using Microsoft Power BI for a management dashboard, used by NPA personnel. Work sessions were concluded to identify methods for monthly information gathering. A draft report was made available to Vodacom specialists for technical recommendations.

Requests for co-location - SCCU KZN

The NPA has requested assistance in securing office space for the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit and Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in KZN. The move is necessary as the ANC is moving into the building currently occupied by the NPA and DPCI. The NPA will provide an official request signed by the National Director of Public Prosecutions, as office space is not covered in the MOU between the NPA and BLSA.

PR & Communications Update

BLSA Hub overview

The CEO’s newsletter has been published on a weekly basis. To track the impact, the Hub is filtered on a weekly view over a three-month period. From 1 April to 30 June the BLSA Hub had a total of 7,234 pageviews, slightly lower than the 8,465 views of the previous quarter, which is to be expected given a slightly lower volume of content published.

The average time spent per session is 45 seconds, up from 37 seconds in the previous quarter.

The week of 9-15 April 2023 was the top-performing week of this quarter, with 1,190 page views. This is due partially to the BLSA CEO’s weekly newsletter regarding the significance of sticking to transition plans, focusing on renewable energy and improving the environment for global investors to support the country’s economic transformation. The newsletter was released on 11 April on the BLSA landing page.

The week of 5-9 June comes in second with 819 pageviews. This is due to the high readership numbers from the 5 June CEO letter regarding the National Health Insurance bill.     

Top Hub pages

The figure below highlights the top 10 most visited pages from 1 April 2023 – 30 June 2023. It is worth noting that the top 10 pages viewed in this quarter were all published within the quarter. This implies that the audience is keeping pace with the latest content on the Hub.

Geographic spread

Most of the BLSA Hub audience is based in South Africa with 4,115 users of the 4,701 total. While 137 were based in Europe, 198 were in the United States, 16 in Australia, 13 in Asia, and 13 in East Africa.

In the period under review 87.42% of the Hub’s users were based in South Africa, 0.28% in East Africa while the rest were outside of Africa. 198 Hub users were based in the United States (4.21%) with the remainder (3.52%) based in countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Australia, and Philippines. 

Top Acquisition Channels

Acquisition numbers in detail

 Out of the 4,701 users who visited the Hub, the highest number accessed it through social media links, which accounted for 64.1% of the Hub’s traffic (equivalent to 3,037 users). Direct traffic came second with 17.3% (equivalent to 822 users), while organic searches accounted for 13.8% (equivalent to 653 users). Referrals brought in 4.8% of all traffic to the site.

New users account for 4,550 of the Hub’s traffic. These users accessed the Hub via social media. It is likely that the audience’s reduced interaction with the Hub is a result of less content being posted following termination of the Business Day and News24 weekly columns.

BLSA CEO’s weekly letter

Number of recipients vs total opens

The CEO newsletter continues to grow its readership. Newsletter recipients grew from 1,905 on 27 March 2023 to 1,991 on 3 June 2023, adding 86 new subscribers, which is up from the previous quarter’s 81 new subscribers.

BLSA social media overview
(1 April 2023 – 30 June 2023)

BLSA’s digital marketing strategy relies mainly on social media and search engine optimisation (SEO). Social media continues to drive visitors to the BLSA website this quarter. The current quarter (1 April 2023 – 30 June 2023) saw a significant increase in numbers compared to the previous quarter.

Social media platforms (1 April 2023 – 30 June 2023)

Total number of fans

Twitter followers are spread across BLSA’s corporate account as well as BLSA CEO Ms Busiswe Mavuso’s Twitter account. Ms Mavuso’s personal Twitter account has 19,188 followers, up from last quarter’s 18,729. The BLSA corporate account has 16,234 followers, up from last quarter’s 15,545. Despite the number of followers, the official BLSA twitter account has not seen the same engagement as Ms Mavuso’s personal account. LinkedIn followers climbed to 4,523, up from last quarter’s 4,232. There are 32,812 fans on Facebook, up from 32,717 in the last quarter. BLSA’s Instagram account currently has 3,494 followers. Most posts were uploaded onto Twitter, with the platform having 819 posts during the period of review. This is because the metrics of two Twitter accounts are combined in this report.

Social media post engagement

Engagement remains a key metric to track audience patterns because it shows interactions with each post. During the period the BLSA official Twitter account together with Ms Mavuso’s Twitter account racked up close to 900,000 impressions. This is up significantly from last quarter’s 425,000 impressions. These pages had an engagement rate of 2.38%.

LinkedIn had a total of 153 impressions with an engagement rate of 4.32%. This is higher than the engagement rate for Twitter. We’ve seen a drop in both the impressions and engagement rate on Facebook. The impressions on Facebook currently sit at 16,000, which is significantly lower than last quarter’s 114,000.

Top social media posts

  • Top tweet

The top-performing tweet in this quarter was from Ms Mavuso’s Twitter account, with 155 retweets, 56 quote tweets, 613 likes, 363 replies and 122,221 impressions. This tweet was posted on 15 May and asked for a clear explanation surrounding the docking of the sanctioned Russian ship, Lady R. The performance of this tweet suggests that the audience was extremely concerned about the circumstances surrounding the Russian ship.

  • Top Facebook posts

Following the positive shift that was seen on the BLSA Facebook page, organic posts are showing positive results. The top post received 1,162 reactions, 199 comments and 77 shares. The audience on Facebook now engages with the columns and not just the media appearances as was seen in previous quarters.

  • LinkedIn posts

During the current period of review the BLSA LinkedIn account received 555 pageviews – a 153.4% increase as compared to the previous quarter. On LinkedIn the top performing post was content from the child-friendly facility launch on 24 June, followed by content from Ms Mavuso’s various interviews.