Business Unity South Africa will be hosting its second Business Economic Indaba on 14 January 2020 in a concerted effort to mobilize collective business endeavours to improve the repositioning of the economy and strengthen the working relationship with government on key challenges facing the economy.
The indaba takes place at a critical time in the development of our country. The economy is in serious crisis, growth has flat-lined, inequality is increasing, and hope for the poor and unemployed is decreasing. The ratings agencies have spoken, the poor and unemployed have spoken, and business leaders speak about it every day: drastic action is needed to pull our economy back from the brink.
And, although many of the challenges we face are a result of government action or inaction, we do not believe government should be left to deal with these challenges on its own.
It is for this reason that we are inviting a range of players in the economy – and in particular, in business and government — to BEI2020, around the theme Activating Actual Outcomes, with a clear emphasis on real and actionable outcomes and the formation of new practical partnerships.
Prominent business leaders including those from Busa affiliated business associations, Chairmen and CEOs of blue-chip corporates, our local and international partners and associates will be in attendance.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has accepted our invitation to attend, and we have invited other Ministers including Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe and Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi.
Many of these Ministers played an informative leadership role at our first BEI in January this year, at which we began to cement meaningful working relationships between government and business. We trust the Ministers will join us again to help shape the next phase of our collaboration.
As South Africa’s apex business organisation, BUSA is fundamentally committed to coordinating the maximum possible involvement in shaping joint solutions to the problems we all face. To guide our discussion at BEI2020, we have outlined five key focus areas which will be workshopped for the bulk of the day and will focus on how to forge greater business and government collaboration. The focus areas are energy security, enabling a capable state, critical sectors for economic growth, the structure of the economy, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
To increase participation in the Indaba, we are today also launching a set of social media platforms to enable people to contribute to the conversations before, during and after BEI2020. These include a new Twitter handle (@economic_indaba), a special section on our Facebook page, and a new tab on the busa.org website. We hope young people, in particular, will take advantage of these platforms to influence the conversation, make their voices heard and help shape the outcome of BEI2020 – and in so doing, drive the development of a new economic agenda and perspective, and shape their own future.
In conclusion: It is no accident that BEI2020 takes place early in the new year; it is our sincere hope that the discussions and agreements will help to catalyse the national mood and shape 2020 into a year of decisive action — with a fundamental shift in gear by all social partners, including government.
Most importantly, we aim to develop new issue-specific partnerships that will, we hope, take us a significant way out of the very dire situation we find ourselves in right now, and help to get South Africa on the road to economic recovery.