Tag Archives: growth

Zuma calls on business to stop fighting

President Jacob Zuma has called for an end to the squabbles that have resulted in a significant division within the country’s business sector subsequent to a recent decision by the Black Management Forum to cut ties with Business Unity South Africa. This has led to divisions, accusations and counter-accusations of racism from both parties.

However , on Tuesday, Zuma while addressing the inaugural Black Business Summit, moved to rein in the warring parties. He emphasised the necessity of unity within business, which he pointed out was critical to the achievement of the goals and objectives of the country.

He said government required a unified and united business voice to work alongside. “We therefore urge you, in your deliberations to debate the matter extensively with a view of finding solutions,” Zuma said.


President Jacob Zuma delivers keynote address at the Black Business Summit


As reported by Xolani Qubeka, one of several organisers, the summit was “influenced” by the decision by the BMF to withdraw from BUSA.

Zuma pointed out that he had intended to meet up with with BUSA last month however the meeting was later shelved as a result of BUSA’s unavailability at the time.

“Necessary arrangements are going to be made for us to meet. As government, our objective is to see unity … to be able to concentrate on the economic growth and development priorities that face the country,” he said.

He did admit that while politically the country had done well to establish a stable democracy, social and economic elements of transformation continue to lag behind. The impact of poverty and inequality was still glaring and human settlements still exposed the gap between the rich and poor, rural and urban, he said.

Zuma welcomed the attempts by black business to embark on internal dialogue with the intention to evaluate the progress made with the transformation of South Africa’s economy. The black business sector has repeatedly pointed out that a lot still needed to be done to completely transform the country’s economy, arguing that whites still enjoyed a tremendous advantage.


Xolani Qubeka Chairperson of Black Business Summit Organizing Task Team


A newly released report released by the Commission for Employment Equity unveiled that while black people accounted for about 86% of the employees in the workforce covered by the report, they only represented a mere 16.9% at top management level and 35% at the senior management level.

The report additionally pointed out that despite the fact that considerable progress had been made in creating a critical mass of both black people and women at the professionally qualified level, these groups appear to have “reached a glass ceiling.”

Zuma stated that government needed to makes use of the legislative environment to level economic playing fields, adding that it was in the interest of reconciliation, economic growth and control of the economy.

“We have witnessed the effectiveness of the affirmative action in the manner in which white women and Indian compatriots have benefited… We must draw lessons from that success to boost the empowerment of other designated groups, in particular Africans.”

When it comes to the ownership of the economy, Zuma said while authorities were pleased to see many blacks entering a variety of sectors of the economy, there were no visible “black industrialists.” South Africans were not seeing large factories and mines owned by black people or women.

Zuma told the summit delegates, which included mining magnate Patrice Motsepe and business tycoon Sandile Zungu, that the South African economy needed to create “authentic” black entrepreneurs who own factories and manufacture textile, furniture and metal products.

Source: BuaNews


SA Economy grows faster than market expectations

South Africa’s economy grew by a higher-than-expected 4.8% in the first quarter of 2011, led by greater manufacturing activity and in spite of a shrinkage in agriculture as a result of to floods in January and February.

Seasonally adjusted real GDP at market prices for the first quarter of 2011 improved by an annualised rate of 4.8% in comparison to an increase of 4.5% (revised from an increase of 4.4%) in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

The expected first-quarter GDP growth had been around 4.2%.




Manufacturing contribution

As reported by Stats SA, contributing factors to the economic activity appeared to be the manufacturing sector, which contributed the most to the economy at 2.2%. This sector has a relative size of 15.1% of the overall economy.

The finance, real estate and business services added one percentage point to growth, and then followed by the wholesale, retail, motor trade and accommodation industry.

“All of us were definitely astonished at the number. It’s actually a really good number as well as good showing by the manufacturing sector,” said Standard Bank senior economist Johan Botha.

Economic activity in agriculture, forestry and fishing industries returned negative growth of 2.6% to some extent as a result of a negative contribution by field crops. This could possibly have been as a result of flooding encountered in January and February, said Stats SA GDP manager Kedibone Mabaso.

“Agriculture has been doing very well, however it is very volatile,” said Botha.




Economy ‘gaining traction’

During the first quarter, the seasonally adjusted real annualised value added by the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors recorded gains of 0.5%, 11.1% and 3.7% respectively.

“I believe the economy is gaining traction at this point, and the real question is precisely what the effects will be on interest rates, making it more challenging for the MPC’s [Reserve Bank monetary policy committee’s], for the reason that growth is stronger than what was expected,” said Botha.

“The Reserve Bank may choose to observe an additional bout of strong growth prior to making a call.”

The second quarter GDP numbers are expected in August, a month prior to the MPC’s September meeting. Standard Bank is expecting that the MPC will continue to keep rates as is until early January 2012.

Source: BuaNews