BUSA is committed to building an enabling environment to achieve a vibrant, diverse and globally competitive economy that harnesses the full economic and human potential of South Africa. The objectives of growth, transformation and employment are mutually reinforcing. They are captured in detail in the Business Approach to Black Economic Transformation for Inclusive Growth launched in June 2017.


Harnessing the economic growth potential of South Africa requires transformation of the economy and much higher levels of employment. There are many constraints to growth. The economy is relatively concentrated, with limited participation, particularly by smaller businesses and people from historically disadvantaged groups. The regulatory structure is administratively onerous in many areas, and lacks sufficient certainty and predictability. Trade opportunities can be greatly enhanced, particularly within the Continent to provide greater access and participation by South African businesses. The tax regime should be designed to be progressive and promote economic growth. The labour market, education and skills system and social security framework can be simplified and made more suitable for South African businesses of all sizes and from all sectors to participate in the economy.

A key element of economic growth is rapidly accelerating the growth of black business.

This requires:

  • addressing regulatory barriers
  • opening up market opportunities
  • bringing down the cost
  • increasing the access to infrastructure and services

Importantly it requires that decisive steps be taken to address corruption and maladministration which undermine economic transformation efforts.


BUSA acknowledges that both the pace and depth of inclusive economic transformation has been insufficient. BUSA believes that urgent steps are required to be taken by business in collaboration with government, organised labour and civil society to boost growth and engender change that will transform the economy and benefit the majority of South Africans.

Transformation, particularly black economic transformation, is a critical enabler for growth. BUSA has identified critical elements required to activate and accelerate transformation:

  • Enable a transformative culture in business
  • Demand-led skills development
  • Enterprise development support
  • Employment promotion – particularly of youth


Low levels of employment in South Africa are a result of low growth and lack of transformation. BUSA believes that if constraints to growth can be addressed, and transformation can be accelerated, then employment opportunities will grow.

A key constraint to employment is the education and skills system. The basic education system and post-school education require serious attention to address the apartheid legacy that persists and is manifested through the many schools that are inadequately equipped with the necessary human resources and infrastructure. Likewise, the higher education system can be enhanced to deliver current and future skills required for a growing and diverse economy. Businesses can actively participate at a business, sector, and national level in driving a more demand-led approach to skills development. A strong future focus is required, so that South Africa can be positioned to the advantage of emerging opportunities in the world of work.

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