Latest insights and research posted on the BLSA Hub

Public sector wages deal

Public sector wages – the battle that has to be won

POSTED ON: December 3, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Despite being fiscally constrained, it will be a hard task for SA to persuade public sector workers to agree to a wage cut.

read more >>

Covid-19 crisis

Resetting business priorities as we rebuild the economy

POSTED ON: December 1, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

As this horrible year winds down to its close, we had better get our priorities right if we are to emerge from this economic crisis.

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BLSA CEO’s letter 30 November

POSTED ON: November 30, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The surge of Covid-19 cases, particularly in the Eastern Cape, is a stark reminder that the pandemic remains extremely dangerous.

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WEF

Great Reset: business priorities

POSTED ON: November 26, 2020

By BLSA

Big businesses should use their influence to guide SMMEs and open networks for them to help them grow and so drive economic growth.

read more >>

Ratings agencies fire warnings about lack of implementation

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By Busi Mavuso

There was no reprieve for SA as our credit ratings were pushed deeper in “junk” status, with ratings agencies implying a lack of faith in our recovery efforts post the pandemic.

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SABC microphone

SABC restructuring a necessity, as with other SOEs

POSTED ON: November 24, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The SABC crisis is evidence of how a culture that encourages a lack of good governance, accountability and sustainability can eventually have on the many stakeholders in a company

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BLSA CEO’s letter 23 November

POSTED ON: November 23, 2020

By Busi Mavuso
The downgrading of South Africa by two ratings agencies on Friday reinforces the fiscal crisis we are facing

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Economic growth

Technology is driving greater economic growth

POSTED ON: November 20, 2020

Technology has been key in helping companies adapt to the “new normal” of doing business – and maintaining economic growth!

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Covid-19 Economy

Covid-19 as a window of opportunities for solutions

POSTED ON: November 19, 2020

The Covid-19 crises may have crippled our economy, but the setbacks create opportunities for solutions.

read more >>

Small business closed

Ethics and paying business on time

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By Busi Mavuso

Statistics SA’s third quarter report card will not tell the full story of just how small businesses across the country are still struggling to keep the lights on.

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Education is the backbone of the economy

POSTED ON: November 18, 2020

Education builds the foundation of an economy. High-quality education allows our nation’s citizens to contribute more effectively to our economy.

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Transport sector key to move economy forward

POSTED ON:

Lockdown may have put the brakes on everything, but BLSA members have kept the wheels moving by providing support where it’s needed most.

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Small business

The cost of not paying small businesses on time

POSTED ON: November 17, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Paying SMEs on time is a small step that big businesses and government can take that will make a big difference.

read more >>

BLSA and its members give back to communities in need

POSTED ON: November 16, 2020

The biggest crises to come out of COVID-19 has been the effects of lockdown on our nation’s most vulnerable communities.

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BLSA CEO’s letter 16 November

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By Busi Mavuso

The opening of borders will give the hospitality and tourism industry a much-needed recovery boost.

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Public sector wages

Public sector wages – we need a breakthrough

POSTED ON: November 12, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Given revenue pressures, the state, like every household, is going to have to look to reduce its expenses.

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Public service not too big – just too well paid

POSTED ON: November 10, 2020

By BLSA

BUSA report on the public sector wage bill, researched by Intellidex, was released at a media conference yesterday.

read more >>

Investment conference

Delivering reforms will be our key sales pitch at the investment conference

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By Busi Mavuso

President Cyril Ramaphosa should use the investment conference to ram home impending changes in policy and show government’s commitment to providing additional power.

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BLSA CEO’s letter 9 November

POSTED ON: November 9, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Watch for important research on the public sector wage bill being released today. It makes a detailed contribution to the debate.

read more >>

Infrastructure

Infrastructure and growth

POSTED ON: November 5, 2020

By Busi Mavuso
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It’s imperative that we work together to unlock infrastructure opportunities that will stimulate the economy

read more >>

Health crucial in pursuit of prosperous economic growth

POSTED ON: November 4, 2020

The COVID-19 crises has amplified the importance of health and safety in organisations.

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Fiscal reform

Fiscal reform is just part of a structural reform agenda needed for growth

POSTED ON: November 3, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Fiscal reform is no longer avoidable but is essential for any economic recovery as it will boost confidence.

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BLSA CEO letter 2 November

POSTED ON: November 2, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The economic recovery plan and MTBPS are, in effect, business plans for the country. What matters now is execution.

read more >>

Second wave

Second wave and a return of stricter measures

POSTED ON: October 29, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

If there is a serious need for further restrictions, then we must act guided by evidence on the type of lockdown we need.

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MTBPS

BLSA reacts to the MTBPS

POSTED ON: October 28, 2020

By BLSA

Today’s MTBPS speech carried far more significance given the crisis we are in.

read more >>

Focus on unproductive behaviour

POSTED ON: October 27, 2020

In mapping out South Africa’s recovery, much of the focus is on economic analysis but too little is on “unproductive behaviour” that needs to be fixed, Miriam Altman, director of Altman Advisory, told a BLSA special council meeting on Thursday.

read more >>

Job cuts bad for SA

State and public-sector unions still have time to reach agreement

POSTED ON:

By Busi Mavuso
SA’s resolve for fiscal reform will be tested in the #MTBPS as we face up to the unresolved question of public sector wages.

read more >>

BLSA CEO’s letter 26 October

POSTED ON: October 26, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

It’s a big week for the country. The MTBPS has the potential to support a recovery in business sentiment, which will boost our recovery prospects.

read more >>

Land

Land reform cannot be tackled with recklessness

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By Tebele Luthuli
The issue of land reform needs to be tackled within the full ambit of the law.

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Treasury to present MTBPS

BLSA writes to Finance Ministry ahead of MTBPS

POSTED ON: October 22, 2020

By BLSA

Business backs a tough medium-term budget.

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Debt crisis

The overarching goal of the mini budget must be to build confidence

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By Busi Mavuso

There is one overarching goal for Finance Minister Tito Mboweni: to rebuild confidence in the economy.

read more >>

Tourism

Tourism and its not so rosy outlook

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By Busi Mavuso

The focus on tourism in the economic plan is vital.

read more >>

Employment

Growth in employment needs fertile ground

POSTED ON: October 20, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Old ideas of waiting for government to create jobs simply won’t do anymore. We need to change the structure of the economy to solve the jobs crisis.

read more >>

Implementation remains key

Implementation remains key

POSTED ON: October 19, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The president’s plan reflects many of the issues that BLSA has repeatedly highlighted that are constraining growth. These have now been made priorities.

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BLSA CEO’s letter 19 October

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By Busi Mavuso

The economic recovery plan does a good job of setting out the issues that are constraining the economy, from lack of infrastructure to visa rules. This is good progress.

read more >>

economic recovery plan

Recovery plan is positive but has some unrealistic expectations

POSTED ON: October 15, 2020

There are lots of positive elements in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic recovery plan. However, it must be seen as more as a starting point.

read more >>

Urgency, execution key to attracting investors

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By Busi Mavuso

We will be watching the president’s economic recovery plan closely as it could set us on a higher growth trajectory if it encompasses structural reforms.

read more >>

Budgeting & Business

Lack of trust in business cannot continue if we want a recovery

POSTED ON: October 13, 2020

By Busi Mavuso
Business is an important player in the social fabric of the country and is as invested as the state, labour and civil society in creating an enabling environment for growth.

read more >>

BLSA CEO’s weekly letter 12 October

POSTED ON: October 12, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The medium-term budget policy statement is the first real test of the credibility of government’s commitment to fix our national finances.

read more >>

Cash notes

Implementation, implementation

POSTED ON: October 8, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

We need a sense of urgency in the implementation of the recovery plan.

read more >>

Arrest

Corruption arrests: A show of teeth and a boost of confidence

POSTED ON: October 6, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Arrests of those associated with state capture is an initial, but significant, milestone in rebuilding faith in SA and its economy,

read more >>

Less talk, more action needed on land issue

POSTED ON: October 5, 2020

By Tebele Luthuli
The land issue in South Africa has not grown less important despite the seeming lack of focus on it at the moment.

read more >>

Restaurants and taverns traded in alcohol despite the bans

Restaurants and taverns traded in alcohol despite the bans

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By Tebele Luthuli

Coverage and public discourse focus mostly on PPE tender corruption but little has been said about new waves of organised crime during lockdown.

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BLSA CEO’s letter 5 October 2020

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By Busi Mavuso

SA lost 2.2-million jobs in the Covid-hit second quarter and big companies have warned of thousands of retrenchments to come. It’s time to talk about labour legislation.

read more >>

medium term budget

Medium term budget — another seminal moment

POSTED ON: October 1, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s medium-term budget speech is another seminal moment for South Africa.

read more >>

Our progress

Our progress to date

POSTED ON: September 29, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Much has improved since Cyril Ramaphosa became president but we haven’t quite changed direction yet.

read more >>

BLSA CEO’s letter 28 September 2020

POSTED ON: September 28, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

With the new IPP bid window announced, we’re finally at the cusp of a real change in energy security and a potentially vibrant new economic cluster.

read more >>

Labour reform

Labour reform is more urgent than ever before

POSTED ON: September 24, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

SA needs to deal with labour reform, a topic that lurks in the background but never really comes to the fore.

read more >>

SAA

SAA’s future should partly be about reducing its risk to the sovereign

POSTED ON: September 22, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

How would another capital injection into SAA fit into the Presidential State-Owned Enterprises Council’s drive to reform state-owned enterprises.

read more >>

BLSA CEO’s letter 21 September 2020

POSTED ON: September 21, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

It was striking how much business could agree with labour and civil society groups at Nedlac on the way forward.

read more >>

Recovery plan

Business and labour backing president Ramaphosa’s plan

POSTED ON: September 17, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The economic recovery action plan, agreed to by labour, business and other social partners, is with the president. It’s imperative that Cabinet approves it without delay.

read more >>

A most welcome change in pace

POSTED ON: September 15, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The president injected a sense of urgency into our economic revival last week, backed up by action with the timetable being set for getting more renewable energy onto the grid.

read more >>

BLSA CEO’s letter 14 September 2020

POSTED ON: September 14, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

My confidence soared when the president showed last week that he’s willing to take responsibility and hold people accountable.

read more >>

The growth emergency

POSTED ON: September 10, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The country needs urgent interventions implemented from the economic recovery strategy to address the jobs crisis we’ve long faced, which has been accelerated by a Covid-19 crisis.

read more >>

Structural reforms

Structural reforms a necessity in light of Q2 contraction

POSTED ON: September 8, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Will today’s Q2 GDP figures prove to be sobering for policymakers? We hope it makes them realise how urgently we need structural reforms.

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BLSA CEO’s letter 7 September 2020

POSTED ON: September 7, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Why is the sense of urgency that government displayed at the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak missing from other areas?

read more >>

Ramaphosa

President Ramaphosa continuing the “good fight”

POSTED ON: September 3, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

As business, we will stand behind the president and support the “good fight” against corruption.

read more >>

Corruption

Ramaphosa’s fight against corruption needs support, not rebuke

POSTED ON: September 1, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

We are encouraged that the president is seizing the moment, taking a hardline stance against corruption, which has ruffled feathers within his party.

read more >>

BLSA CEO's weekly - 1 June

BLSA CEO’s letter 31 August 2020

POSTED ON: August 31, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

How much more onerous will future loan conditions be if SA doesn’t address its creditworthiness?

read more >>

FinFind

BLSA hails Finfind’s SMME initiative amid Covid-19

POSTED ON: August 28, 2020

FinFind, which provides online access to finance solutions for SMMEs, is launching a comprehensive study on the impact of Covid-19 on this sector.

read more >>

transparency

A lesson in transparency and trust

POSTED ON: August 27, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

It is important that government keep the nation informed on the reasons for its decisions. This will breathe confidence into the ability of the state.

read more >>

transparency

Transparency and ethical leadership

POSTED ON: August 26, 2020

By Tebele Luthuli

We hear of so much corruption, but little gets done about it. The corrupt thrive in secrecy; transparency is their enemy.

read more >>

state capture

Rebuilding an organisation gutted by state capture

POSTED ON: August 25, 2020

The job of rebuilding SARS has been an immensely difficult task because of the extent of the damage done in the state capture era, SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter told BLSA members at an online webcast on Thursday.

read more >>

corruption

Setting the tone against corruption

POSTED ON:

By Busi Mavuso

It’s only after we win the battle against corruption that recovery plans can find proper grounding.

read more >>

BLSA CEO's weekly - 1 June

BLSA CEO’s letter – 24 August 2020

POSTED ON: August 24, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Corruption damages all spheres of society, from service delivery to investment, while it also guts economic growth and increases inequality.

read more >>

Second-quarter contraction

Second-quarter contraction and the bounce-back

POSTED ON: August 20, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The impact of the initial ‘hard lockdown’ is going to make for some shocking reading when GDP figures are released early next month.

read more >>

Restart this economy

Now to restart this economy

POSTED ON: August 18, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Government’s recovery strategy must actually move the needle and not be just another document.

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BLSA CEO’s weekly letter – 17 August

POSTED ON: August 17, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

This is the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. Labour and business have presented detailed plans, but why hasn’t government?

read more >>

No popularity contest

This is no popularity contest

POSTED ON: August 13, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Has Cyril Ramaphosa opted to win a popularity contest within the ANC rather than do the right thing for the country?

read more >>

BLSA CEO’s weekly letter -11 August

POSTED ON: August 11, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

SA Breweries, Heineken and Consol Glass have frozen R13bn of investment. But that doesn’t begin to reflect how much investment we’re losing.

read more >>

Eskom's tariff win

The lessons from Eskom’s tariff win

POSTED ON: August 10, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

While Eskom’s prices continue to rise, its biggest customers are aggressively looking for alternative energy sources. What is the long-term future of the utility’s revenue model?

read more >>

the screws need to be loosened

The screws need to be loosened

POSTED ON: August 6, 2020

By Busi Mavuso.

It’s imperative to open up as much of the economy as possible without compromising Covid-19 safety protocols.

read more >>

lead by example

Lead by example

POSTED ON: August 4, 2020

With Covid-19 infections rising sharply, it’s important that political leaders and business leaders in SA lead by example in curbing the spread.

read more >>

Confidence

Confidence is in a trough as infections start to peak

POSTED ON: August 3, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Boosting confidence is critical for our economic recovery – easier said than done considering the tales of corruption around the management of the health pandemic.

read more >>

BLSA CEO’s weekly 3 August

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By Busi Mavuso

The time for talking is done. We must now become obsessed with implementation – it’s the only thing that matters.

read more >>

corruption

Special task team to combat covid-19 corruption

POSTED ON: August 2, 2020

By Tebele Luthuli

Perhaps many South Africans have become apathetic about corruption because they never see things improving.

read more >>

IMF loan

Reality bites with IMF loan

POSTED ON: July 29, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

SA is being bailed out by the IMF because we can’t finance the Covid-19 battle ourselves. That’s because of our low growth over the last five years.

read more >>

corruption is still rife

Corruption is still rife

POSTED ON: July 27, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation last week was focused on growing corruption around funds dedicated to our war against Covid-19. A sad state of affairs.

read more >>

BLSA CEO's Weekly - 27 July

BLSA CEO’s Weekly – 27 July

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By Busi Mavuso

Scenes of police using water cannons against protesting restaurant workers in Cape Town were shocking. People have a right to protest.

read more >>

SOE

Another resignation at an SOE a cause for concern

POSTED ON: July 23, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The CEOs of SOEs have to reform them. That’s their function and they need to be backed if SOEs are going to be part of the solution to the deepening economic recession.

read more >>

tourism shutdown

Women and youth feel the pain of tourism shutdown

POSTED ON: July 21, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

If supporting women to become financially independent is among the state’s priorities, denying women and youth the ability to earn a living due to lockdown of industries such as tourism, is the ultimate contradiction.

read more >>

Interview: SA’s problems precede the virus

POSTED ON: July 20, 2020

An IMF loan through its stand-by arrangement means SA would have to sign up to conditions. While on the surface it is presented as not being a loss of sovereignty, in reality it is.

read more >>

BLSA CEO's weekly - 20 July

BLSA CEO’s weekly letter – 20 July

POSTED ON:

By Busi Mavuso

The need for transparency increases dramatically especially when lockdown decisions could destroy the livelihoods of millions of citizens, as the alcohol ban does.

read more >>

IMF

A trap long set

POSTED ON: July 19, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

SA’s application for $4.2bn from the IMF exhausts the ‘conditionality free’ money; the next step will be borrowing based on harsh but necessary conditionality.

read more >>

SAA

Where will more money for SAA come from?

POSTED ON: July 15, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Quite simply, the restructuring of SAA into a commercially sustainable airline is too expensive for the state to fund.

read more >>

B4SA economic recovery plan

Implementation is key to B4SA’s economic recovery plan

POSTED ON:

We extend unwavering support to Business for South Africa (B4SA)’s economic recovery plan in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic shock it has caused.

read more >>

Balance sheet

Business could mobilise its balance sheet if the state were an enabler

POSTED ON: July 14, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

With alcohol sales locked down again, South Africa needs to make the economic recovery as urgent as our health response.

read more >>

Digital age

South Africa inadequately prepared for digital age

POSTED ON: July 13, 2020

By Tebele Luthuli

Access to information is the new way of being in and part of the world in today’s digital age. But this brings its own problems – for which SA is unfortunately inadequately prepared.

read more >>

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 13 July

POSTED ON: July 12, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The impact of the Covid-19 crisis is becoming ever clearer: business confidence is record low; over 1-million jobs have been lost; and the Reserve Bank is forecasting that GDP will fall by 33% in Q2 of 2020.

read more >>

Hard lockdown

Hard lockdown’s possible return

POSTED ON: July 9, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Better consultation between all stakeholders in the economy could help avoid some unnecessary pitfalls if SA has to revert to a hard lockdown.

read more >>

Municipalities

Fight against Covid-19 will be carried out by municipalities

POSTED ON: July 7, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Amid evidence of maladministration and unauthorised expenditure, most municipalities are unable to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

read more >>

BLSA CEO's weekly - 1 June

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 6 July 2020

POSTED ON: July 6, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

An important background issue to get right as we face the Covid-19 crisis is that business and government must work together, while understanding our different functions.

read more >>

We need to give hope

We need to provide hope

POSTED ON: July 2, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

SA can’t afford to lose hope and resign to the worst. Business and government have to work together to ensure that the least amount of lives are lost and that the economy holds a promise of a better tomorrow.

read more >>

Government debt

Actually, not all government debt is bad

POSTED ON: June 30, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Not all government debt is bad. The key is to ensure funds are geared towards growth-enhancing measures that will benefit the vast majority.

read more >>

Eskom

The many legs of Eskom’s recovery plan

POSTED ON: June 29, 2020

SA could see the end of loadshedding by August next year, by when Eskom hopes to have eliminated the backlog in its maintenance programme, CEO André de Ruyter told business leaders in a webcast organised by BLSA on 26 June 2020.

read more >>

BLSA CEO's weekly - 1 Ju

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 29 June

POSTED ON:

By Busi Mavuso

As we gear up to drive an economic recovery, the downgrades of the Industrial Development Corporation and the Development Bank of Southern Africa make it more difficult for the two institutions to fund investment to support the economy.

read more >>

Sovereign debt crisis

SA runs the real risk of a sovereign debt crisis in about three years

POSTED ON: June 25, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

SA runs the real risk of a sovereign debt crisis in about three years, which will feed into all our major corporations and our banking sector that managed to successfully navigate the global financial sector crash of 2008.

read more >>

Supplementary budget

BLSA reacts to the supplementary budget

POSTED ON: June 24, 2020

We congratulate Tito Mboweni for tackling the key question in the supplementary budget of whether we continue a decline or start a process of renewal.

read more >>

Jobs

The government cannot continue to be a well-paying jobs centre

POSTED ON: June 23, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Tomorrow’s emergency budget is supposed to map a way forward for just how the state will help galvanise an economy bludgeoned by the effects of the lockdown.

read more >>

emergency budget preview

WATCH: Emergency budget preview

POSTED ON: June 22, 2020

Business is asking three questions ahead of the emergency budget: where the money is going to come from, how the high deficit will be met and what phase three of the economic strategy will look like.

read more >>

Crime really doesn’t shock us in SA, and it should

POSTED ON:

By Tebele Luthuli

With many businesses under extreme strain due to the Covid-19 pandemic, desperate measures seem to include much that is seemingly unethical.

read more >>

BLSA CEO's weekly - 1 June

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 22 June

POSTED ON:

By Busi Mavuso

We applaud the NPA for the arrests of suspects linked to the looting of VBS Bank and offer our full support as it pursues justice.

read more >>

SAA

Do we really have capacity for another R10bn SAA adventure?

POSTED ON: June 18, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

To invest in an airline right now is a risky gamble for any investor, especially in a national airline such as SAA that hasn’t produced a profit for a decade and has been surviving on bailouts of over R30bn in that time.

read more >>

SOE Council

SOE Council – open letter

POSTED ON:

The role of the new SOE council is critical but it has a tough task. BLSA wishes it the best in fulfilling its mandate.

read more >>

reform agenda

Restructuring of Eskom is a positive sign of commitment to reform agenda

POSTED ON: June 17, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

One only hopes the new SOE council has not been set up to meet quarterly to just deliver advisory notes to the president.

read more >>

SA's problems

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 15 June

POSTED ON: June 15, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

As South Africa thinks about the economic recovery post the coronavirus crisis, shattered business confidence should have us worried.

read more >>

It's still about structural reform

It’s still about structural reforms

POSTED ON: June 11, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

South Africa needs to focus on the safe reopening of the economy and ensuring the pressure remains on policymakers to keep their commitments to structural reforms.

read more >>

emergency budget

How will R130bn be reallocated in the emergency budget?

POSTED ON: June 9, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The upcoming emergency budget will be difficult as Tito Mboweni has to reallocate R130bn to meet the needs of the stimulus package, which is likely to ruffle some feathers.

read more >>

BLSA CEO's weekly

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 8 June

POSTED ON: June 8, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Whatever courts find on lockdown details, there is no doubt that social distancing and health protocols work and must be in place.

read more >>

Illicit trade to continue

BACSA – Illicit trade to continue

POSTED ON: June 5, 2020

By Tebele Luthuli

The efforts of SARS, law enforcement agencies and other groups that have been battling illicit trade in SA long before the Covid-19 lockdown are being undermined by the continued ban on cigarette sales.

read more >>

Strengthening SA's social compact

Strengthening SA’s social compact

POSTED ON: June 4, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The social compact shouldn’t just be a lofty ideal, but should be practised – and again, business needs to be given the space to contribute.

read more >>

Gordhan Briefing 29 Mayy

Gordhan Briefing 29 May

POSTED ON: June 3, 2020

Government reiterates its efforts to improve SOEs and invites the private sector to participate in infrastructure rollout drive to spur the economy.

read more >>

state ownership

Shift on state ownership welcome, but let’s avoid heavy ‘guidance’

POSTED ON: June 2, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

SA will see a return of badly needed fixed investment only if the state creates an environment that is conducive for businesses to thrive and to grow inclusively. Dabbling in prescribed assets or fiddling with the independence of the Reserve Bank will not rebuild confidence.

read more >>

BLSA CEO's weekly - 1 June

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 1 June

POSTED ON: June 1, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Momentum is building towards finding viable solutions for our ailing SOEs with the presidential SOE council to be named soon and the review of all SOEs under way.

read more >>

Striking a balance between health and the economy

Striking a balance between health and the economy

POSTED ON: May 28, 2020

By Busi Mbauso

As business welcomes the opening of the economy from June 1, we must do so understanding the responsibility of navigating us through the September Covid-19 peak.

read more >>

Covid cases

Onus is on business to ensure there isn’t a rapid rise in Covid cases

POSTED ON: May 26, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

There is a need for extra caution because SA is relaxing its lockdown at a time when the virus spreads more rapidly.

read more >>

BLSA CEO's weekly - 1 Ju

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 25 May

POSTED ON: May 25, 2020

The positive message from government is that it is committed to driving a recovery and is open-minded on engaging with business on how to do it. The shift to level three next week is important and welcome.

read more >>

A changing world

A changing world, where the innovative stand a chance of survival

POSTED ON: May 21, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing businesses to rethink how they operate. Those that innovate – and quickly – will be able to firstly keep their heads above water and then prosper

read more >>

Covid-19 restrictions

Need to relax the Covid-19 restrictions is becoming more urgent by the day

POSTED ON: May 19, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

It was encouraging to see government’s commitment and eagerness to moving to level 3 in an effort to stave off the looming economic catastrophe.

read more >>

BLSA CEO's weekly

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 18 May

POSTED ON: May 18, 2020

Cyril Ramaphosa’s admission that some lockdown restrictions had been unclear, poorly explained and even contradictory was a powerful step in resetting government’s relationship with the public.

read more >>

Eskom the last question

Eskom the questions still to come …

POSTED ON: May 14, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Eskom grasped the opportunity from lockdown to deal with maintenance issues but its debt is still the biggest sovereign risk to our economy.

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covid-19

Level four lockdown is fluid, not time-based

POSTED ON: May 13, 2020

Level four is something of a testing ground to assess Covid-19 readiness for moving to levels three and two, to learn more about the challenges and states of readiness, trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel told an online webcast with business leaders on Friday organised by Business Leadership South Africa.

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Gender-based violence

Lockdown: BLSA supports #NoExcuse initiative to tackle gender-based violence

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Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has thrown its support behind the #NoExcuse initiative which aims to tackle gender-based violence (GBV) during the national lockdown.

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IMF loan

Seeking an IMF loan will take us from dogma to pragmatism

POSTED ON: May 12, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

ANC leadership is finally accepting the world as it is and not how it wants it to be.

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BLSA CEO's weekly

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 11 May

POSTED ON: May 11, 2020

Government must be agile in responding to changing conditions. The risk-based framework for opening the economy allows agility to some extent by giving it tools to fine-tune.

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BLSA CEO's weekly

Falling revenues and fewer options …

POSTED ON: May 7, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

If our fiscal roadmap includes plans for the start of a new state-owned airline and, given our most recent record in managing one in SAA, one wonders what sort of terms will be struck.

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Innovation needed

Innovation is needed, not a rehash of old ideas

POSTED ON: May 5, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

That the government is still toying around with bailing out companies such as SAA is a worrying trait that might keep us mired in the past.

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Illicit trade

COVID-19: Illicit trade still rearing its ugly head

POSTED ON: May 4, 2020

By Tebele Luthuli

As people, governments, businesses and civil societies across the globe grapple with the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, criminal syndicates are taking advantage.

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BLSA CEO's weekly

BLSA CEO’s weekly

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Big businesses as well as SMMEs are facing a serious calamity with the Covid 19 crisis.

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bans on cigarettes and alcohol

Prohibitions: unintended consequences

POSTED ON: April 30, 2020

The bans on cigarette and alcohol sales have dramatically boosted the fortunes of criminal syndicates and even seen gangs expanding their activities into these markets as their regular criminal activities have been disrupted by the lockdown.

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easing of lockdown

The easing of the lockdown

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By Busi Mavuso

On Friday, the curtain finally starts to lift on what must rank as the most difficult period for a South African economy that has been through the worst over the past decade.

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Alcohol ban

Alcohol ban during lockdown

POSTED ON: April 28, 2020

By Tebele Luthuli

The closure of taverns and shebeens due to lockdown, while necessary, has unfortunately meant significant loss of income for a lot of people across South Africa, particularly in poorer areas.

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BLSA CEO's weekly

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 28 April

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By Busi Mavuso

The phased easing of the lockdown is a welcome step for government to take in managing the covid-19 crisis.

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Level 4 lockdown

Let’s have a clear road map of how businesses will operate on level 4 lockdown

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By Busi Mavuso

Business has been at the coalface of the damage caused by the lockdown and is most anxious to get back to work.

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saloon

We are in last chance saloon

POSTED ON: April 23, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

We needed decisive intervention from government in the face of an economy that is set to reel from the effects of covid-19. It was delivered.

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Reopening the economy

Extraordinary times: Patel on phased approach to reopening the economy

POSTED ON: April 22, 2020

Trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel briefs business on government’s risk-adjusted strategy in reopening the economy.

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Economic recovery

Health-friendly economic recovery plan is urgently needed

POSTED ON: April 21, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

There’s a lot riding on the solutions that the cabinet proposes to recast the economy for much-needed growth.

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SAA

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 20 April

POSTED ON: April 20, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

SAA is a symbol of government’s mismanagement of the economy. The airline is now terminal. The Covid-19 crisis has put the lid on the coffin, but there were no alternatives even before the crisis.

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ban on cigarette sales

Review ban on cigarette sales during lockdown

POSTED ON: April 17, 2020

By Tebele Luthuli

The reasons for the ban on cigarette sales, though, remain unclear and should be open for discussion and review.

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covid-19

The economic war on the covid-19 pandemic

POSTED ON: April 16, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

National Treasury and the Reserve Bank are stepping up to the plate with responses to the Covid-19 pandemic – despite having very little wiggle room given our fiscal constraints.

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Lockdown extension

BUSI MAVUSO: Lockdown extension was always on the cards, but a further one is frightening

POSTED ON: April 14, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The two-week extension of the lockdown is like taking a punch to the gut, but we need to consider the ramifications. Economists are penciling a deeper GDP contraction this year of -9.7%.

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BLSA CEO's weekly

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 14 April

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By Busi Mavuso

There is a lot government can do from a policy point of view to increase the survival rate of small businesses.

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SA lockdown

Consequences of SA lockdown and bad policy: what options are left?

POSTED ON: April 9, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

The lockdown is unprecedented – there’s no manual on how to respond to the shutdown of commerce.

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economy

BUSI MAVUSO: Kick-starting the economy is an urgent but delicate matter

POSTED ON: April 7, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

We need to consider the ramifications of the lockdown on the world once we win the war against Covid-19.

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BLSA CEO's weekly

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 6 April

POSTED ON: April 6, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

We are in a living experiment of different policy choices in response to the Covid-19 crisis. The lock-down that we are enduring represents the best policy choice given the experiences of countries around the world that have faced the virus earlier.

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job crisis

A deepening job crisis looms

POSTED ON: April 2, 2020

By Busi Mavso

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns it has triggered locally and internationally, some estimates say as many as 1.1 million jobs are at risk in SA.

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SA's credit rating

BUSI MAVUSO: The guillotine falls … can we turn it around?

POSTED ON: March 31, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

We have hit the economic iceberg. The decision by Moody’s to downgrade our credit rating to junk finally cut SA’s tenuous hold on its last investment-grade rating.

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BLSA CEO's weekly

BLSA CEO’s Weekly – 30 March

POSTED ON: March 30, 2020

The Sword of Damocles has fallen. SA’s debt is now rated junk by Moody’s and raising new debt will be more expensive. The question is what government does next.

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LockdownNow

Lockdown, the only intervention …

POSTED ON: March 26, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Tonight we head into a first in South Africa’s young history, with the entire population being placed under lockdown for our greater good.

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downgrade

Businesses collaborate with govt to mitigate Covid-19 impact

POSTED ON: March 24, 2020

Interventions by governments and monetary authorities around the world have been dramatic in response to Covid-19 – reminiscent of war times.

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BUSI MAVUSO: Moody’s downgrade or not, SA must press on with structural reform

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By Busi Mavuso

SA needs to implement structural reforms, which will imbue the state with credibility at a time when it will count the most as investors settle into a post-coronavirus world.

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BLSA CEO's weekly

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 23 March

POSTED ON: March 23, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

We have to pull together to confront Covid-19. Business is mobilising. Important objectives are to ensure we can continue getting goods and services to consumers and to increase supply of goods that are particularly needed now such as hand sanitiser, personal protection equipment for frontline staff and medicines.

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Coronavirus

Curb coronavirus spread, but economic bedlam awaits regardless

POSTED ON: March 20, 2020

The shock of coronavirus on SA’s economy will be dire, regardless of whether or not the country successfully contains the spread.

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Coronavirus

CORONAVIRUS, the response of organized business …

POSTED ON: March 19, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

SA is caught up in a perfect storm of a weak economy, loadshedding and the Coronavirus. This threatens us with another full-blown recession.

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Coronavirus

Stimulus package to best respond to coronavirus

POSTED ON: March 18, 2020

BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso recommends the required stimulus package to best respond to coronavirus, which is proving to have dire consequences on SA’s embattled economy.

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Covid-19

State of our economy during the covid-19 crisis

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By Busi Mavuso

Coronavirus gives SA an opportunity to make bold political decisions and effect the structural reforms we have been talking about

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Uncertainty in a time of coronavirus …

POSTED ON: March 17, 2020

By Busi Mavuso

Indecision is a certainty in SA that has long plagued our economy. But now we have an unprecedented new layer of uncertainty added in the form of coronavirus.

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Illicit trade

We must stamp out illicit trade to boost the fiscus

POSTED ON: March 16, 2020

It’s time to take strong against illicit trade, which is doing tremendous damage to the economy.

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SAA

BLSA CEO’s weekly – 16 March

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BLSA is a business organisation that believes in South Africa’s future and shares the values set out in the Constitution. In 2017, BLSA signed a contract with South Africa, committing business to playing its part in creating a South Africa of increasing prosperity for all by harnessing the resources and capabilities of business in partnership with government and civil society to deliver economic growth, transformation and inclusion.

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BLSA CEO's weekly

B-BBEE must create jobs: BLSA CEO

POSTED ON: March 15, 2020

BLSA CEO Busisiwe Mavuso says Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) needs to create job opportunities.

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What are SA’s stimulus options, if any?

POSTED ON: March 12, 2020

Coronavirus induced market crisis is worse now than in 2007 when South Africa had a budget surplus.

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SA is losing billions due to the scourge of illicit trade

POSTED ON: March 11, 2020

Following a dialogue session on Tuesday, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso lamented that South Africa’s economy was characterised by low growth, which was further exacerbated by contributing factors such as illicit trade.

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High-flying criminals will get their comeuppance

POSTED ON: March 10, 2020

As big business we are working tirelessly to stem the rising tide of crime.

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Not the time to trade family jewels

POSTED ON: March 5, 2020

An estimated 2GW of power generation outside Eskom is just waiting for state approval – but nothing has happened despite assurances by President Ramaphosa that this is a path that his administration has chosen.

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Life support must come with reforms

POSTED ON: March 3, 2020

It is well past the time to review all of our SOEs and make the necessary reforms to get our focus back on growing this economy in an inclusive manner.

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A welcome step on public sector wages, but action is still needed on SOE vampires

POSTED ON: March 2, 2020

What we called for in last week’s Budget Speech 2020 was substance rather than the bluster of words of intent. Tito Mboweni rose to the challenge.

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Mboweni rises to the challenge

POSTED ON: February 26, 2020

Tito Mboweni has faced up to the challenges and delivered a tough budget that will rescue the state from financial disaster – if it can be implemented.

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The toughest budget since democracy

POSTED ON: February 25, 2020

South Africa’s national finances are in a perilous state and the finance minister will have the difficult task of setting out how they will be managed.

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SAA

THE BUDGET: “SUBSTANCE OVER BLUSTER”

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Much is riding in the 2020 Budget speech because a slide into full junk status by Moody’s is a very clear and present danger.

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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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SA's problems

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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Innovation needed

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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BLSA CEO's weekly

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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BLSA CEO's weekly

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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Gender-based violence

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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