South African business organizations expect that President Cyril Ramaphosa would recognize the country’s issues and a black economic empowerment (BEE) milestone during his state of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday.
Cas Coovadia, CEO of Business Unity South Africa (Busa), stated in an interview with Sunday World that Ramaphosa needed to recognize that the country was in crisis. “Our crisis is multidimensional.
Coovadia stated that strong and brave leadership from the president is the beginning point for addressing the issue.
Kganki Matabane, the CEO of the Black Business Council (BBC), stated that 2023 was noteworthy because the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act reaches 20 this year.
He said, “We expect the president to reflect on this and the progress made thus far.”
The BBC would like Ramaphosa to outline the government’s plans to expedite BEE.
Matabane remarked this in light of data from the BBC revealing that black people own less than 5% of the economy and government employment equity reports indicating that around 70% of JSE-listed firm CEOs were white men.
Coovadia stated that Ramaphosa’s 2023 Sona must address numerous crucial challenges.
“The primary concern is energy. The president’s energy plan is on the table, and he must convince the nation that it will be implemented immediately.
“However, this strategy will only bear fruit in two years,” he continued.
Matabane concurs that the country’s primary concern is resolving the electricity situation. It must be resolved as quickly as feasible. If this trend continues for the next three years, the economy could collapse,” he added.
The National Development Plan intends to reduce unemployment from its current level of about 30% to 6% by 2030.
“We need 11 million new jobs, and 90% of them will be created by small enterprises. We cannot expect peace with a youth unemployment rate of 70%. We want the president to comment on this matter,” Matabane stated.
In addition, the BBC wants the president to address crime and corruption during the Sona and to put pressure on the National Prosecuting Authority to act.
He noted that it was crucial for the government to propose measures to combat crime and protect South Africans.
“Let them hire more police if they need to,” he continued.
This is especially noteworthy given Matabane’s statement that a large number of wealthy persons were leaving South Africa due to crime and loadshedding.
This emigration reduces the tax base of the country.
Coovadia indicated that Busa anticipated the president to address the nation’s logistical issues.
“Transnet’s performance is far from optimal, and our road network, once among the best on the continent, is collapsing.”
He continued, “I don’t know if the president will have announced his cabinet by then, but if he has, it must speak with one voice and not send mixed messages from different ministers.”
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