Latest insights and research posted on the BLSA Hub

Bold leadership is required to end SA’s jobs crisis

POSTED ON: February 20, 2020

The dual catastrophes of South Africa’s unemployment and economic growth situations can only be met by leadership with a will to make the right but perhaps politically less palatable choices.

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Urgent implementation required on positive Sona messages

POSTED ON: February 19, 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa gave a positive SONA 2020 with some real plans to deal with our economic problems. The challenge is implementation.

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Cyril Ramaphosa’s Sona is the most significant speech since 1994

POSTED ON: February 11, 2020

It is up to President Cyril Ramaphosa to reinvigorate and inspire confidence in South Africans from all walks of life in his SONA.

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Cosatu’s debt bailout proposal for Eskom amounts to nothing more than a free lunch

POSTED ON: February 10, 2020

SA can’t use public pensions as a convenient piggy bank to bail out our indebted SOEs and avoid fundamental reforms.

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The argument against appointing a ‘land tsar’

POSTED ON: February 6, 2020

Placing land reform in the hands of a government official – a ‘land tsar’ – will only add another layer of policy uncertainty to South Africa’s economic story.

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Prescribed assets as bail out is a step in the wrong direction

POSTED ON: January 30, 2020

Prescribed assets, on the surface, may seem to be a quick-fix to Eskom’s problems but that would serve only to guarantee poor returns for pensioners. BLSA argues for some hard decisions to be taken now to ensure long-term sustainability of Eskom and other SOEs.

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WEF report card for team South Africa

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The South African story and its main architects should always hold centre of place at forums such as the WEF in Davos and not cower away into corners under irresponsible economic paths because of our own policy inertia.

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The SAA meltdown: a hard lesson on the costs of indecision

POSTED ON: January 27, 2020

SAA, through the actions of our political players, is now effectively a privatised, inefficient enterprise, a situation caused by a legacy of bad direction by its shareholder.

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Illicit trade and South Africa’s vehicle sector

POSTED ON: January 22, 2020

Cheap as they may be to a South African consumer that has been struggling under the weight of an under-performing economy for the better part of five years, the illegal import of vehicles from places as far as Japan, China and Singapore will prove more expensive in the end to the country through the loss of millions in revenue.

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It’s about generation …

POSTED ON: January 20, 2020

With a new leadership team in Eskom now in place, it’s important that the focus remains firmly on what the crux of our electricity challenges is: the inability to meet power demand. Regardless of the changes that may come to the almost 97-year old parastatal, this is its inescapable truth.

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Business Leadership South Africa mourns the passing of Dr Richard Maponya

POSTED ON: January 7, 2020

Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) is saddened by the passing of the business icon, Dr Richard Maponya, who passed away on the morning of the 6th January 2020 after a short illness.

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Capability outside Eskom for power generation is the light at the end of the tunnel

POSTED ON: December 17, 2019

Here are short-term measures that can be be acted upon immediately to help the energy crisis. They will contribute additional capacity and, importantly, boost sentiment.

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Labour, the missing player in South Africa’s turnaround

POSTED ON: December 10, 2019

As difficult a path that business rescue is, and as wary as we are of the unintended consequences, the shareholder’s stance in the SAA matter has put to paid one thing: companies are not too big to fail. Eskom, of course is a special case. This should however not incentivise unions to prolong their rigid approach; rather, they should try and be part of the solution.

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Government needs to pull out all the stops to escape low-growth trap

POSTED ON: December 5, 2019

As much as the government under President Cyril Ramaphosa focuses on drawing investment into the country, it is in matters such as freeing up the private sector, and in particular SMMEs, where we’ll find shorter, quicker pathways to a better growth outlook for the economy.

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Ethics Barometer will enable private sector to serve society by putting ethics first

POSTED ON: December 2, 2019

There’s much introspection that we as business need to do, particularly to gauge just where we need to improve our relations with all our stakeholders. This is a conversation that isn’t reserved just for South Africa because of any uniqueness in our history, but one that can increasingly take shape across the globe. While the Ethics Barometer has been acclimatised to our local conditions, the Harvard-developed tool is relevant internationally.

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Decisiveness called for with our day of economic reckoning just around the corner

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Call them friendly to the South African story, or more considerate of the structural fault-lines in our economy, for whatever their reasoning, they’ve resisted following the path of their peers. But come next February, it seems we may have run out of rope if promises of the new political dispensation at the helm of the governing party, ANC, aren’t translated into hard decisions.

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An open letter to Eskom’s new CEO

POSTED ON: November 18, 2019

Congratulations on your appointment as CEO of Eskom, which is undoubtedly one of the most challenging and important jobs in the country, as we are sure you are well aware.
As organised business, we see your appointment as a vital step towards stabilising the outlook for energy availability in Africa’s largest electricity company after more than a decade of instability in the institution

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SAA shareholder needs to support board’s turnaround plan

POSTED ON: November 15, 2019

SAA and its stakeholders are striking this weekend and the airline will lose about R50m a day, but what we would ask of its shareholder representative that it now back its board and executive in managing its dispute. To intervene now would only strengthen the belief among unions that it is indeed “too big, too fail”, serving to harden positions and in effect hasten SAA’s demise.

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Selling SA in a challenging global investment climate

POSTED ON: November 13, 2019

Broader macro constraints need to be tackled, such as the implementation of measures that will ensure energy security, stabilising the debt pile and consolidating the fiscus. Unless these are addressed, many participants may continue viewing events like the investment conference simply as mere talk shops.

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Wage bill is perhaps the greatest challenge facing Ramaphosa’s administration

POSTED ON: November 7, 2019

THE sixth administration is going to have to face up to some hard truths over the next few months if it is going to show some real commitment to drawing a line in the continued deterioration of its finances. There’s no harder truth than its bloated wage bill.

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Much work ahead

POSTED ON: November 1, 2019

Recovery should kick off with allowing state-owned enterprises to be run like businesses

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The challenges are clear; working together we can turn things around

POSTED ON: October 30, 2019

The MTBPS has brought home how serious our financial predicament is. All social partners, including business, labour and civil society will have to work together to turn around what has become an entrenched low growth trend. BLSA is ready to play its part in developing the solutions needed to put South Africa back onto a growth path that will deliver our people a better future, free of poverty.

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Gordhan’s Eskom plan a positive step towards sustainability

POSTED ON: October 29, 2019

All South Africans stand to benefit from a reliable, low-cost electricity supply industry that can support the development of the economy. We look forward to further development of the future scenario for Eskom, including details on the financial plan to stabilise the utility’s balance sheet and the appointment of a permanent CEO to deliver on that the roadmap.

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“Mini Budget” preview – mini in name only

POSTED ON: October 28, 2019

In years past, this week’s speech – that doesn’t carry as much weight as the February budget – was primarily seen as a marker in calendars of just when the state would be unofficially going on its summer holidays. It couldn’t be more different now as it will serve as a statement of intent of Ramaphosa’s first administration, and perhaps the constant date changes bear testimony to its importance – we hope.

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Integrated Resource Plan: we welcome the certainty, but worry about coal and nuclear hold on ANC politics

POSTED ON: October 20, 2019

Despite our reservations about the planned coal and nuclear future and further expansions because of cost, environmental and perhaps unavoidable political considerations, we welcome the clear path being set in the IRP for the industry – and for the clear role for investors to play in shaping our energy future. This week’s load-shedding serves no better reminder of the urgency of the matter.

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Reserve Bank nationalisation: a political debate that won’t die

POSTED ON: October 18, 2019

The loss of unambiguous independence of the bank in its oversight of financial stability would potentially put South Africa at odds with international obligations and risk its continued access to the global financial system. SA is highly dependent on foreign capital inflows to finance its budget and current account deficits.

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Prescribed assets? There are more productive options to spur growth

POSTED ON: October 16, 2019

Prescribed assets primarily will divert savings from the private sector to the public sector, reducing private sector investment. It is also a challenge to the principle of property rights, effectively expropriating the savings of a certain segment of the public.

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Business can’t ignore pleas of women who fear to walk down the street or office corridors

POSTED ON: September 22, 2019

Social cohesion improves economic growth by stopping physical and human capital destruction and creating social capital, cooperation and trust in society.

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The slow pace of change within SOEs is enough to cause panic

POSTED ON: September 19, 2019

Over the past two years, the idea mooted has been one of prescribed assets as being a panacea for ailing state-owned enterprises and in the main it’s all about Eskom. While we appreciate the desperation of the Eskom question, we urge caution on something that looks like a knee-jerk response and on the surface at least, an easy fix for what’s seemingly exasperated policymakers.

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BLSA condemns gender-based violence

POSTED ON: September 18, 2019

Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO, Busi Mavuso condemns gender-based violence against women and children. Mavuso was interviewed by eNCA following #SandtonShutdown campaign by civil society at the doorsteps of Johannesburg Stocks Exchange demanding that big business fund projects to fight the scourge. Watch the interview

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South Africa Lacks Discipline, says BLSA CEO

POSTED ON: September 11, 2019

BLSA CEO, Busi Mavuso joined anchor, Bongani Bingwa on SABC News’s Democracy Gauge programme to discuss Effective Leadership in South Africa. Mavuso says South Africa lacks discipline and the political leadership is not helping the country to move forward. Watch as she engages Bongani Bingwa

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Cabinet must forget squabbles and back the Mboweni plan

POSTED ON: September 4, 2019

When Cabinet meets tomorrow they will in all likelihood do so against a background of news of a positive second-quarter of economic growth and thereby escaping the technical definition of a recession – two consecutive quarters of contraction. For some in that meeting, that may just provide some space to discuss other pressing matters in their departments, unrelated to all things economy and growth.

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FNB initiates a dialogue with SA’s township entrepreneurs

POSTED ON: November 14, 2017

In line with Global Entrepreneurship Week last month, FNB Business conducted a series of engagements with township entrepreneurs across South Africa’s biggest townships. The engagements started in Tembisa and Soweto townships in Gauteng and were followed by uMlazi Township in KwaZulu- Natal and Khayelitsha in the Western Cape. Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business said…

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