BLSA Bulletin   |   Tenth Edition


As we draw near to the end of 2023, we are more convinced than ever before of the importance of our work and the necessity of multi-stakeholder commitment to change in order to revitalise the South African economy and society.

This has been a year marked by the continued public erosion of our electricity, rail, port and municipal capacity. In just three months this year we saw more loadshedding than in 2018–2021 combined. Public services continue to decline, and systemic gaps prevail across our economic infrastructure.

In the context of a global economy made fragile by conflict, inflation and low growth, the damage that has been done to South Africa’s capabilities has further eroded our nation’s global competitiveness.

However, it is decidedly not all doom and gloom. At the same time, albeit less visibly, a tremendous amount of hard work is being done by like-minded people in the private and public sectors, carving out pockets of genuine progress, and establishing bastions of excellence and good governance. We are proud to report on some of the progress in this Bulletin.

2024 heralds South Africa’s seventh democratic national elections. They have the potential to usher in a restructured political landscape and could well be amongst the most consequential of the democratic era. I urge you to heed the IEC’s call and assist in making sure that every eligible South African citizen is registered and ready to make their voices heard.

We continue to believe that active, principled engagement has tremendous potential to help right the ship, and that if we remain resilient, we will eventually witness a turn for the better.

South Africa’s plan at COP28

The climate is the world’s single most important global economic concern. As I write, COP28 is underway, with President Ramaphosa having delivered his address and presented South Africa’s plan for the implementation of the Just Energy Transition (JET) Investment Plan to the United Nations Secretary General.

Climate change, South Africa’s energy crisis, the decarbonisation of Africa’s largest emitter, our relationships with the world’s largest emitters, our sustainable development, and our implementation of the JET Investment Plan are inextricably linked.

In his address, President Ramaphosa assured the conference that “We are going through an energy crisis, which we are addressing. Our energy action plan is also part of our plan going forward, so we did not come here without a plan.”

Back home, the President has undertaken to see the Electricity Regulation Bill expedited in order to expand the national regulatory framework for the electricity-supply industry, and Minister Gwede Mantashe has announced that his department is hoping to launch three more energy-procurement rounds this year.

BLSA enters a new phase

This year our board signed off on BLSA’s five-year strategy (2024 -2028).    Our mission – to create a conducive environment for the private sector to unlock economic growth and development for all South Africans – remains the same, as does the focus on key priorities such as effective network industries and working towards enabling a capable state. 

As we interrogated what would constitute a conducive trading environment against a backdrop of global and local uncertainty, two new strategic considerations emerged.  We see a need to accommodate a greater level of pluralism in government post this year’s elections, which may require a differentiation of strategy and tactics across all three tiers of government.  The other important consideration is the impact of geopolitical tensions on our own economy, as was evident from the fallout around the Lady R saga and the anti-West rhetoric that emerged at the time of the BRICS Summit earlier this year.   We look forward to sharing our latest strategy with members in the new year.

As always, we will continue to work hard to advance a modern, inclusive and growing economy, to uphold the constitution and protect the integrity of state institutions, and to demonstrate that business is a national asset and central to addressing poverty, unemployment, economic injustice and transformation.

I would like to wish all our members, readers, supporters and partners a safe, restful and happy festive season, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside you in 2024 for the betterment of South Africa.

Busisiwe Mavuso

Table of Contents

Strategy and Policy Update

Energy and Environment

After the first year of the implementation of the National Energy Crisis Committee’s (NECOM) Energy Action Plan (EAP), significant progress has been made on key objectives, including a focused plan to end load shedding, numerous regulatory reforms and streamlining of regulatory approvals, as well as implementing key steps to rapidly increase private sector investment in energy.

Business entities have been seamlessly integrated into three crucial NECOM work streams, and collaborative teams have been mobilised in the initial areas of focus.

The Generation Recovery Plan, addressing unplanned losses, is underway and has already led to a reduction. The installation of rooftop solar panels has more than doubled since June 2022, spurred by new tax incentives and financing schemes. Additionally, a ministerial determination has been issued for over 14,000 MW of new generation capacity from wind, solar, and battery storage.

Furthermore, business support has been effectively mobilised in critical areas, including the optimisation of the diesel supply chain at Ankerlig to enhance load factor. The return of additional units at Kusile has been facilitated through the timely completion of temporary stack work. Support is also being provided to power station managers in the implementation of turnaround plans at four identified stations. These interventions collectively aim to recover approximately 5.4 GW of system capacity over the next 12 months. This substantial progress underscores the concerted efforts towards energising and revitalising the sector.

BLSA submission endorses Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill goals and objectives but raises specific concerns

The Electricity Regulation Amendment (ERA) Bill aims to expand the national regulatory framework for the electricity supply industry and after significant delays the President has undertaken to see it expedited.

The Bill was formally introduced in Parliament on 25 August 2023. In response to an invitation from the Portfolio Committee for submissions from the public, BLSA drafted a submission based on inputs received from members and this was submitted to BUSA to form part of its submission.

In summary, the BLSA submission endorsed the ERA Bill’s broader goals and objectives, while raising specific concerns and proposing detailed amendments to enhance the bill’s clarity, effectiveness, and ability to foster a competitive and dynamic energy market.

Public hearings are currently underway and are anticipated to be completed during December 2023. The next step will involve deliberations and detailed scrutiny of the bill by the Portfolio Committee. The subsequent phase will involve public participation by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), with a discretionary timeframe for completion.

Climate Change Bill passed by National Assembly

On 20 September 2023, the Portfolio Committee finalised and endorsed the Climate Change Bill, which is meant to enable the development of an effective climate change response and a long-term transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy and society for South Africa in the context of sustainable development.  Subsequently, on 24 October 2023, it underwent a crucial stage of consideration and adoption in the National Assembly and now proceeds to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for further consideration.

Launch of Energy One Stop Shop to expedite approval of new energy projects

Launched on 27 July 2023 by the Government, the Energy One Stop Shop (EOSS) aims to lessen the administrative burden that companies by providing a singular entry point for approving new electricity generation projects.

BUSA supported the establishment of the EOSS by securing Business Process Engineering (BPE) support.

There remain concerns that the EOSS may not be effective in reducing the regulatory burden, streamlining approval processes, and ensuring NERSA registration. Through NECOM workstream 2, it will be ensured that the EOSS is implemented according to its intended objectives, namely to:

  • streamline regulatory processes required for private investment in electricity generation,
  • facilitate pre-investment screening for all energy projects,
  • fast-track the approval of energy applications.


National Water Resource Infrastructure Agency Bill - NEDLAC Report finalised after lengthy period of engagements

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) tabled the National Water Resource Infrastructure Agency (NWIRIA) Bill at NEDLAC, during the inaugural meeting of the NWRIA Bill Task Team on 3 May 2023.

Following a series of engagements between DWS and organised labour at the request of the latter, discussions concluded in mid-July 2023 and the NEDLAC report has now been finalised.

Economic Policy

Trade, Transport and Logistics

Business calls for extension of African Growth and Opportunity Act

On 7 July 2023, BUSA presented its written submission to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on the Annual Review of Country Eligibility for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for Calendar Year 2024. The submission focused on three key areas:

  • Benefits of AGOA for South Africa and South African exporters
  • Impact and risks to the economy should South Africa be excluded from AGOA
  • Recommendations and proposals

Benefits of AGOA for South Africa and South African exporters

AGOA has resulted in numerous advantages for both South Africa and South African exporters while the preferential treatment offered by AGOA has yielded numerous benefits for both the United States and partner countries in sub-Saharan Africa. These benefits include the following: duty-free access to the US market, increased export opportunities, market and product diversification and competitiveness, revival, and growth of beneficiary sectors, stimulated economic growth and job creation, technical assistance and capacity building, and investor confidence and foreign direct investment.

Impact and risks to the Economy should South Africa be excluded from AGOA

Business believes that exclusion from AGOA will negatively affect the already struggling South African economy, leading to declining competitiveness of export sectors, de-industrialisation of benefitting sectors, loss of skills and technological innovation. Furthermore, it will lead to the disintegration of regional value chains due to SA’s declining import demand for raw material inputs from sub-Saharan African markets and reduced capacity for future growth. As a result, some of the potential impacts and risks to the economy will include loss of preferential market access, reduced export opportunities, impact on job creation and economic growth, and potential negative impacts on investor confidence.

Recommendations and proposals

The consensus amongst various business entities and bodies is that AGOA is beneficial to South Africa, with the country enjoying a trade surplus vis-à-vis the US since 2010 except in 2014 when South Africa experienced a trade deficit of R1 billion. BUSA has recommended and proposed the following to the USTR:

  • Extension of AGOA beyond 2025
  • Strengthening compliance with eligibility criteria
  • Diversification of products included in the agreement
  • Engaging in constructive dialogue and collaboration
  • Greater regional integration, and support for stability and growth.

The extension of AGOA could be crucial in providing much-needed economic growth opportunities for South Africa. Market access has repeatedly been affirmed by the government as a core policy objective including within various sectoral master plans. AGOA renewal would help promote trade diversification, support job creation, contribute to regional integration efforts, and strengthen the relationship between the United States and South Africa.

Study to evaluate impact of EU-SADC-SACU Economic Partnership Agreement to be launched with BUSA participation

An evaluation study has recently been launched to analyse the economic, social, human rights (including labour rights) and environmental impacts of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with six partners from the Southern African Development Community (SADC): Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and South Africa. 

Under the 2016 Agreement, the EU and the partner countries open their goods markets for bilateral imports, to varying degrees. Liberalisation of services trade and investment may be negotiated in the future.

The purpose of the study is to identify areas of strong performance, as well as opportunities to improve the implementation of the EPA. The evaluation study is undertaken by a team of independent researchers. BUSA put a team together (from different sectors) to meet with independent researchers and consultants on 8 November 2023, for a workshop which facilitated discussions on the interim report’s preliminary findings published in October 2023, providing a snapshot of the EPA’s ex-post evaluation.

Overall, the summary of preliminary findings highlights the EPA’s influence on trade and economic welfare but also the challenges concerning labour rights, environmental impacts, and the uncertain connection between the agreement and observed changes in human rights and environmental policies. The draft final report will be published at the end of February 2024. The work by the consultants is still ongoing, specifically analysing the social and environmental impact of the EU-SADC EPA.

Important ongoing consultation activities were:

  • A series of workshops was organised in Mozambique (26 October 2023), South Africa (also covering Eswatini and Lesotho; 08 November 2023), Namibia (16 November 2023), and Botswana (28 November 2023);
  • An online survey on the performance of the EPA was open until 30 November 2023. Detailed information, including the evaluation reports, is available on the evaluation website:

BLSA-sponsored and Operation Vulindlela-developed Freight Logistics Roadmap submitted to Cabinet

The Presidency requested BLSA members, through BUSA, to provide input on the Draft Roadmap for the Freight Logistics System in South Africa. Business’s position was submitted on 26 October 2023.

An engagement took place on 26 October 2023 where Business presented its written submission on the Draft Roadmap to the leadership of the Department of Transport (DoT). After this, DoT scheduled a follow-up engagement on 7 November 2023 where they presented their feedback on the submission from Business. Refinement of the roadmap to include Business’s inputs is currently underway and the Department is working towards its finalisation the roadmap in this calendar year.

The purpose of the draft Roadmap is as follows:

  • To improve efficiency in logistics so as to unlock the potential of the rest of the economy, as the cost of logistics affects all other sectors;
  • Create a well-functioning logistics system in South Africa to enable the transportation of goods efficiently and securely;
  • To provide a range of actions required to restore efficiency and competitiveness of key industry supply chains, as well as ports and rail more generally;
  • To implement several pre-existing policy initiatives.

BLSA also sponsored the first draft of the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill Regulations developed by Operation Vulindlela


Draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill – proposed changes could affect multinationals

On 31 August 2023, BLSA made a written submission to Treasury on the draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, 2023 (DTLAB) focusing on the Foreign Business Establishment (FBE) exemption for Controlled Foreign Companies (CFCs).

The submission was informed by research commissioned by BLSA regarding the impact of certain proposed changes on multinational entities’ ability to conduct business efficiently and competitively as well as the importance of balancing tax policy with international competitiveness, referencing global trends and recommendations and suggested proposed amendments.

BUSA also made a submission and delivered an oral presentation in Parliament on 20 September 2023, which covered the Proposed s9D CFC TLAB Proposals & Carbon Related Sections.

Members who want to view the full submissions can contact BLSA.

Aspects of proposed Electronic Communications Amendment Bill should be redrafted, says BLSA and BUSA

BLSA and BUSA jointly drafted and submitted comments on the proposed Electronic Communications Amendment Bill 2022, expressing concerns about various aspects of the Bill and highlighting the importance of universal access to affordable data and a competitive market for societal growth and economic prosperity. It was recommended that the Bill be withdrawn until a well-articulated version is published, taking the provided insights into account.

The submission was made to the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies on 31 August 2023.   

Members who want to view the full submission can contact BLSA.

Unintended consequences of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill highlighted in BLSA submission

On 4 September 2023, BLSA made a submission on the Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems (TPENDS) Control Bill, Bill, expressing concern about its potential unintended consequences, including the alarming surge in illicit cigarette trade during the COVID-19 State of Disaster in South Africa, attributed to the ban on tobacco sales.

Some of the points made included:

  • Concerns about the wide-ranging regulatory powers granted to the Minister under the Bill and the need for clear definitions and separation of powers to ensure responsible use of these powers especially concerning the sale of relevant products;
  • The importance of basing legislative decisions on empirical evidence;
  • The need for collaboration between public and private sectors to formulate regulations that are effective and practical, and
  • The need for transparency in the decision-making process.

Members who want to view the full submission can contact BLSA.


BLSA and BUSA weigh in on Companies Amendment Bills

BLSA and BUSA have made submissions regarding the Companies Amendment Bill [B27-2023] and the Companies Second Amendment Bill [B26-2023] that are currently before parliament.  The draft amendments relate to ease of doing business, transparency on beneficial ownership and remuneration policies, as well as steps to implement the recommendations of the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

BLSA made a submission on the Bills, through BUSA. For its part, BUSA made a submission on the draft Companies Amendment Bill on 2 October 2023 and delivered an oral presentation to Parliament on 17 October 2023, expressing significant concern regarding the potential ramifications of the Bill on the business community should it be enacted in its current iteration. 

Members who want to view the full submissions can contact BLSA.

Questions raised about Draft National State Enterprises Bill

On 13 October 2023 BLSA provided feedback on the draft National State Enterprises Bill 2023, which seeks to establish a holding company supervised by the State for select state-owned entities (SOEs), aiming to enhance professionalism and protect shareholder value.

While lauding the Draft Bill’s intentions, BLSA raised concerns about several aspects of the Bill, including its effectiveness, as well as the absence of a well-defined policy context, like a green paper, and emphasised the need for comprehensive policy direction for SOE governance. It further noted that rushing the policy framework might not be in the best interest of sustainable SOE reform.

Members who want to view the full submission can contact BLSA.

Social Policy

Rubber stamping National Health Insurance Bill will have damaging consequences for SA for generations

On 21 November 2023, the NCOP Select Committee on Health and Social Services adopted the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill without any amendments, despite numerous issues raised by four Provinces and a wide range of stakeholders, including written submissions from BUSA and B4SA.  

On 13 September 2023 an urgent Special Health Policy meeting was convened by BUSA and B4SA to discuss the submission that was urgently being prepared to be sent to the National Council of Provinces. The meeting was convened to provide members with a comprehensive update on the project’s progress and to gather high-level perspectives for aligning the business position.


The submission to the National Council of Provinces emphasised business support for addressing healthcare inequality while highlighting structural, regulatory, and economic risks. It also stressed the necessity for change management, collaboration, and substantial investment. Workable alternatives, requiring minimal changes and no substantial tax increases, were identified in the transitional pathway.


The BUSA/B4SA submission made the point that a sustainable and affordable NHI that meets the health care needs of everyone is possible if Government and the private sector work together.  It outlined proposed changes to the NHI Bill which will allow for the active and ongoing involvement of the private health care sector, and which are needed to set the country on the pathway to achieve universal health coverage. These proposed changes are also intended to address the operational and constitutional challenges contained in the Bill, so that once it is adopted the country can proceed with implementation of the NHI without lengthy litigation.


Following news that the NCOP adopted the NHI Bill without any amendments.  BUSA and B4SA issued a statement on 27 November 2023 stating that they had written to the Presiding Officers of the NCOP as well as the Deputy President, to register their deep concern regarding the lack of due process, saying  that no consideration was given by the select committee to the many constitutional issues, both procedural and substantive, in the Bill, which were raised by four Provinces and a wide range of stakeholders.

It is our belief that the Bill in its current form is unimplementable, unaffordable, unsustainable, presents a material risk to the economy and will have severe consequences for South Africa.

Members who want to view the full submissions can contact BLSA.

Employment Equity Amendment Act – BUSA requests retraction of draft regulations

The Employment Equity Amendment Act was signed into law on 12 April 2023 and was expected to take effect on 01 September 2023. Several issues have arisen and BUSA wrote to the Department requesting retraction of the draft regulations. The office has not received acknowledgement of receipt.

Member organisations across all eighteen sectors who cited issues and areas of disagreement with the sectoral targets were encouraged to submit individual objections to the DEL and BUSA, while being cautioned against pre-emptively launching a court challenge on the validity and existence of quotas as that will depend largely on implantation share.

Recent media reports suggest the revised draft employment equity regulations will be released for a second round of public comments.

BUSA and BLSA call out systemic dysfunction within the Unemployment Insurance Fund

Over the past three years, BUSA had engaged with the government and Labour at NEDLAC to address systemic dysfunction and alleged corruption in the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF’s) administration. Unfortunately, these efforts yielded no progress, as the UIF Commissioner appeared unwilling or unable to tackle the systemic issues. Despite several letters to the Minister of Employment and Labour, no positive responses were received.

In a Business Day opinion piece dated 12 October 2023, BLSA expressed deep concern about the systemic dysfunction within the UIF, highlighting its detrimental impact on workers’ livelihoods and the employer-employee relationship. It was emphasised that calls for government intervention had gone unanswered.

BUSA endorsed the call for immediate administration of the UIF, as proposed by other business organisations and Organised Labour. Commitment to providing support and expertise for a modernisation programme that meets the evolving needs of the workforce, ensuring efficient, cost-effective and timely service delivery was reaffirmed; and the critical importance of resolving systemic issues in the UIF architecture for the benefit of both workers and employers was stressed, thus urging the minister to act swiftly.

Other BLSA Projects

Furthering the reform agenda

Under Operation Vulindlela, BLSA continued its work with National Treasury and the Presidency to expedite implementation of pro-growth structural reforms to the benefit of business and the broader South African political economy.

Support on general and critical skills visa reform

BLSA provided OV support on general and critical skills visa reform throughout the period.  The project aimed to enable skilled migration to the benefit of the economy through identifying improvements that could be made to the policy framework and processes for work visas. The project was concluded and a close-out report was submitted to the BLSA board.


Professionalisation of the public service

As part of its efforts to promote the professionalisation of the public service, BLSA has been in discussions with the National School of Government to determine the possibility of assisting with training public servants in 2024. 

Presidential SOE Council Support

BLSA support during 2023 covered the finalisation of reports on each SOE as well as the appointment of part-time advisors on SOE restructuring. Although the NBI has been contracted to proceed with phase 2 of the project, this is currently stalled pending a long-delayed response from the Minister of Public Enterprises on the interim reports. 

Support for Whistleblower House

BUSA and its major funders (members) provided in-principle support to WhistleBlower House in recognition of the critical role of whistleblowers in combatting corruption and the lack of an appropriate framework (legal and otherwise) for whistleblower protection.

The project has been completed and a possible partnership with The Whistleblower House will be considered in 2024.

NECOM support

BLSA has allocated funding towards the Resource Mobilisation Fund, launched in March to support the National Energy Crisis Committee (NECOM). The funds are ringfenced for specified outcomes.  

Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA)

Progress with the establishment of BACSA as an Independent Entity

BACSA was registered as a Non-Profit Company on 22 August 2023 and the BACSA budget for the 2024 calendar year, along with accompanying assumptions, has been drafted.  The budget accounts for the ‘sunk BLSA expenses’ associated with maintaining BACSA, as well as the scope for expanding BACSA capabilities in alignment with the anticipated roll-out of the Crime & Corruption Workstream (CCWS).

The transitional assumptions and proposed arrangements include:

  • the transfer of BACSA staff to the new entity once the legal formalities are addressed (these processes are being attended to pro-bono by the Webber Wentzel team in support to the CCWS);
  • BLSA will continue to provide both accommodation and administrative support throughout this transition period, at least until the end of the 2024 calendar year;
  • BACSA will utilise the BLSA IT infrastructure but will invest in its own server and firewall for security reasons.

As of 1 September 2023, Tebele Luthuli stepped down as the managing director of BACSA. Dr Graham Wright has subsequently been appointed as the entity’s new CEO, effective 1 November 2024.

The appointment of the new BACSA Board has been completed and the new Board members are Lungisa Fusile (CEO:SBSA), Gareth Ackerman (Chairperson: Pick n Pay), Busisiwe Mavuso (CEO: BLSA), Jannie Durand (CEO: Remgro Limited), and Neal Froneman (CEO: Sibanye- Stillwater).

In addition to reconceptualising and capacitating BACSA, the CCWS’s intention is to establish a structured relationship between BACSA and government and initiate & develop priority projects/initiatives necessary to impact crime & corruption – which, once proven, will be incorporated into the BACSA delivery vehicle.

The BACSA capacitation and the CCWS projects are therefore inter-dependent and planned to optimise resources as each are scaled-up and scaled-down respectively over the next year (2024) to equip BACSA to deliver on its new mandate.

The government has designated the National Priority Crime Operational Committee (NPCOC) to serve as the coordinating mechanism for the joint government and business CCWS initiatives, guided by an appropriate Terms of Reference.

This capacitation of BACSA is also supported by a comprehensive review and refinement of all legal agreements associated with BACSA/BLSA and their alignment to accommodate the new BACSA mandate and approach.

These interventions are to be supported by a funding prospectus, aligned with the B4SA funding strategy, with the first call for funding being launched during November 2023.

Extortion Businesses (Construction mafia/Business forums)

BACSA has noted renewed attention from SAPS Senior Management regarding the work required to curb extortion. The Presidency and the Ministry of Public Works escalated the topic, while affected businesses started claiming damages from the SAPS where losses were incurred after the SAPS was duly informed of threats of disruption of work and damage.

Construction and other businesses are increasingly better prepared to react appropriately to the first signs of the crime being committed, with businesses resisting yielding to demands and limiting disruptions to one or two hours. Quite often, professional services are contracted to address the extortion while employees continue with normal operations. All stakeholders understand that extortionists will continue to target any business or government construction sites that are vulnerable. Thus, the focus is on preparation to prevent extortion and minimise its effects.

The Provincial Priority Committee in the Eastern Cape started functioning after months of effort from Business and we trust that operational response will improve. The implementation of the documented framework and procedures will continue. Business and SAPS management are informing station commanders of high-risk areas regarding these frameworks, while communication platforms such as Eyes and Ears are focusing on increased operational awareness.

Eyes and Ears Initiative

Vehicle Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems lead to 45 vehicles impounded and 22 arrests

BACSA has been assisting the SAPS with the installation of 400 in-vehicle and border post Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera systems. All hardware is being provided by SAPS, while BACSA is assisting with software deployment. In-vehicle deployment includes both cell phone apps and fixed installations.

On 26 July 2023, SAPS members began utilising the cell phone app. As of 24 October 2023, 22 suspects had been arrested – 21 arrests took place in the Western Cape, with one arrest in the Northwest.  A total of 45 vehicles valued at R11,25 million were impounded.

Eyes and Ears Initiative District Implementation

With the growth of the Eyes and Ears (E2) and the expansion of the mandate to include non-private security industry role-players, rural safety structures, and community policing structures, an overload of information shared with the Provincial Operational Command Centre (POCC) occurred.

The E2 initiative has subsequently been rolled out to several rural districts in Limpopo, KZN and the Western Cape, with rollouts in districts in the Free State and around Johannesburg underway.

Implementation of the Tourism Safety Initiative in the BACSA E2 Monitoring Centre

On 31 August 2023, the BACSA E2 Monitoring Centre was established as a national centre to facilitate crime-related incidents reported through the SECURA Traveller application, a tourist-friendly app that features a panic button to report incidents. A service provider initiates and monitors incidents until the individual in distress confirms that they are safe and secure, while tourism ambassadors located throughout the country provide aftercare. The Minister of Tourism, Minister Patricia de Lille, visited the BACSA Monitor Centre and commended business on the establishment of the centre, which could be utilised to implement an essential service for tourists.

National Prosecuting Authority Support

Selective project management at the National Prosecuting Authority

Having originally deployed a project manager to assist the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) with several projects, it became apparent that a portfolio approach was necessary. This involved collaborating with various stakeholders to conceptualise the initiatives, ensuring they were designed for optimum impact and sustainability before planning and implementation.

The NPA is consolidating various programmes into a single portfolio, with two initiatives, a Combatting Corruption initiative and a Prosecution Prioritisation Policy and Programme, receiving approval from the NPA leadership. The NPA Impact Portfolio is currently in Phase 4, Handover, with a focus on optimising execution and ensuring successful integration into the NPA’s operations for long-term sustainability.

This approach can serve as a model for future initiatives by NPA members, with increased management involvement facilitating greater participation and seamless integration. However, current government-wide austerity measures may impact the NPA’s ability to sustain these initiatives beyond the initial involvement of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA).

Combatting Corruption in South Africa

The application pack for funding through the German Government Grant has been revised and is now ready for final submission, with the disbursement of funds expected within the next few months. The NPA leadership has approved documents related to various plans.

The Operations Priority System (OPS), a project focusing on State Capture Matters, is currently in the planning phase and a business case is being developed to outline the project’s objectives and benefits.

The OPS aims to track State Capture matters within the NPA, improve access to performance information, and facilitate accurate reporting. The system should be adaptable to the needs of the entire organisation and could potentially involve other departments in the future.  

The OPS project has significant potential for enhancing operational efficiency and enabling effective reporting within the NPA. Through streamlined processes and improved data accessibility, this system will make a significant contribution to the organisation’s overall performance, aligning with its mission to effectively combat State Capture.

The Impact Portfolio Approach aims to ensure the long-term sustainability of initiatives, which can positively influence the country by reinforcing a robust rule of law, instilling confidence in state institutions, attracting foreign investment, and fostering economic growth. These initiatives can also reduce crime rates and promote compliance with international standards.

The NPA has made significant progress in empowering prosecutorial and law enforcement authorities to combat corruption and address the legacy of State Capture. Consistent engagement with stakeholders within and outside the NPA has yielded results.

The structured approach, commitment, and collaborative efforts with diverse stakeholders position the NPA to make substantial contributions to addressing critical issues, enhancing operational efficiency and fulfilling the mission to combat corruption and State Capture effectively within the National Prosecuting Authority.

Assistance to the Investigating Directorate

BACSA approved assistance for the appointment of a forensic accountant and a forensic analyst as well as assistance with training in document identification and evidence.  The Investigating Directorate (ID) also sought assistance in reorganising former Directorate of Special Operations (Scorpions) documents for their use. The request has been approved in principle.

Marketing & Communications

At a glance

  • Numerous media requests from international (American, Russian and Southern African) media houses reflect international BLSA’s reach and influence. The New York Times, Voice of America, Russian TV channel Ren TV, the China Global Television Network, Xinhau News, and Bloomberg all requested interviews from BLSA.
  • Positive social media conversation highlighted BLSA’s commitment to contributing positively to South Africa’s socioeconomic landscape.
  • Risk-bearing social media conversation substantially decreased, from 143 posts down to 28 posts. Over 78% of all risk-bearing conversation on social media related to accusations of unethical behaviour over the funding of the Eskom report and the possibility of legal repercussions.
  • Productive public investment, public service delivery and fiscal discipline were the main conversation focus areas, both in terms of volume and engagement.
  • BLSA’s potential reach during the period equated to approximately 610 million, with the top 25 articles for this reporting period having a total reach of 181 million. The organisation appeared in 1758 articles from 1 July till 31 October this year.
  • BLSA’s Net sentiment score improved, rising from -24.2% last quarter to -5.8% this quarter.
  • MTBPS-focused commentary reached approximately 250 000 impressions on Facebook and X(Twitter).
  • The click-to-open rate for BLSA’s Weekly CEO newsletter is currently 30%, compared to an average of 10.5% across all industries.
  • The BLSA website has been revamped and will be live in the new year.