Comments on the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement from business and property sector

Posted On Wednesday, 28 October 2020 13:23 Published by
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Those in the business community have shown significant interest in the Government's plans to revive the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and its negative impact economically.


See below for comments from some leaders in the South African business community about the plans announced in today's Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, which you are welcome to share with your readers/listeners.

Carl Coetzee, CEO of BetterBond,

As expected, the medium-term budget has painted a bleak picture of a country in the grips of a severe recession. Given that South Africa was already in this recession before COVID-19, this comes as no surprise. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Five consecutive repo rate cuts since the start of the year, resulting in a prime lending rate of just 7%, have provided a welcome stimulus for the residential property market, which is already showing signs of a steady recovery. Buyers who have the means are making the most of this record-low prime lending rate, and the increase in first-home buyer applications for home loans bodes well for a sustained recovery in this sector. 

Philani Sangweni, Managing Partner, Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs (E4E) Africa 

“It’s disappointing that the MBTPS contained no mention of support for entrepreneurs, beyond promising to reduce red tape for business. Entrepreneurs are our best hope for getting South Africa out of its economic malaise. If we’re not putting entrepreneurship at the heart of our economic recovery plan, how serious are we about it really?” 

Simon Norton, Executive Director, International Zinc Association Africa Desk 

SOEs have failed, and we cannot continue to spend on them. The scarce finance that is available could be better allocated to finance passenger & freight rail upgrades and water works improvements. While the Budget Facility for Infrastructure makes provision for the extension of hospitals and the like, we must be thinking more strategically about new builds.

This means taking an urgent approach and action which considers capital investment in mineral beneficiation to help address our most pressing challenges in a sustainable way, – we need a zinc refinery in South Africa and soon. We need to be looking at how new build projects are designed to ensure that they are drawing on well-known engineering practices to ensure the longevity of these massive investments.

Hot dip galvanising of infrastructural steel is one such critical way – prescribe that steel used in infrastructure developments, particularly at the coast, must be galvanised to ensure extended life of plus 30 years and dramatically reduced maintenance.  We must stop squandering huge amounts of money on worthless projects such as SAA and Denel – the time for decisive action is now in 2020. 

Last modified on Thursday, 19 November 2020 13:32

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