Eradicating corruption is at the top of the list of issues members of the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry would like to see President Cyril Ramaphosa and his new Cabinet tackle.
A survey ahead of the national election among the members of the chamber – which effectively represent the German bilateral business community in SA – aimed to establish what Ramaphosa should address in order to foster positive economic growth.
Respondents represented the engineering, automotive, manufacturing, financial services and legal and advisory sectors. Overall, the survey indicated a positive sentiment with 66% of respondents indicating a positive outlook for future investments.
About 93% of the respondents want the new government to put an end to corruption, while 80% would like to see it cut the red tape on bureaucracy.
About 70% of the respondents said they are opposed to land expropriation without compensation and 66.33% indicated a need for the privatisation of state-owned enterprises.
All respondents indicated that load shedding had an adverse effect on their business – 57% said this impact was severe and 43% indicated a slight impact.
Sabine Dall’Omo, president of the chamber and CEO of Siemens Southern & East Africa, said in a statement that the survey is a clear indication of the commitment of German companies to South Africa.
“However, corruption is a debilitating issue that impacts severely on economic growth and our appeal to government is to eradicate corruption in all echelons,” she said.
Another survey, this time by Sage, found that around 70% of South African companies trading internationally spend more than 35 hours per week on compliance.
Businesses in this survey indicated that the top three things that the SA government should do to better support their aspirations to increase international trade are developing opportunities in international markets (37%); providing investment incentives and funding (36%); and the removal of trade barriers (35%).
These businesses would also like to see the reduction of data costs; the moving to greener and more sustainable energy sources; harnessing the productivity gains of automation and building SA’s national competence in science and technology.
“With an unemployment rate of more than 27% and employment declining in industries like mining, it is up to the small business sector to make the difference,” said Pieter Bensch, executive vice-president at Sage Africa & Middle East.
“Government should be asking how it can build a nation of entrepreneurs and innovators,” said Bensch.
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