Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) notes the new executive announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday 29 May 2019. BUSA welcomes the continuity in the core economic ministries; the gender parity in the composition of the Cabinet; and the introduction of young talent. While the merger of some departments is welcomed, it was hoped that the Cabinet would be more streamlined.
BUSA congratulates President Ramaphosa on having announced his Cabinet and welcomes the emphasis on: ethical leadership; the undertaking to strengthen the fight against state capture; the pledge to ensure better co-ordination among ministries; and the promise to ensure an efficient and effective government that exercises better stewardship over public finances.
BUSA was particularly encouraged that there will be continuity in the finance portfolio. The organisation expects this to signal that the government will make good on its promise to pursue a path of fiscal consolidation, address the state wage bill and hit the ground running on the work of getting SA Inc back on a growth path.
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) remain the greatest risk to public finances, with Eskom being the biggest concern. The resolution of the future modalities and functioning of SOEs is crucial. So is the way forward in relation to crafting South Africa’s industrial and trade policies in the wake of recent developments in the global environment.
The organisation is studying the other key appointments to the economic and justice clusters, which it views as crucial in efforts to grow the economy, send a positive signal to the markets and restore the credibility and trust lost in the criminal justice system.
Now, the focus must shift towards implementation and bolstering of capacity in the various departments. The country is at an economic cross-roads and is faced with an unemployment and inequality crisis, which has been characterised as a key threat to democratic stability.
BUSA remains a committed social partner and stands ready to play its part in finding solutions to South Africa’s challenges and to fulfil a constructive role in restoring the economy, as well as shoring up investor confidence. The organisation will be seeking urgent engagements with ministers in the economic cluster to determine aligned actions.
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