Saving South Africa

South African businesses need to help the government, as companies need reliable universal inputs such as electricity and transportation to succeed. 

This is according to Business for South Africa (B4SA) chairman Martin Kingston, who told 702 that businesses need to make government work to survive. 

Kingston spoke after the announcement of a pledge to save South Africa signed by 115 CEOs whose businesses employ 1.2 million South Africans and have a combined value of more than R11 trillion. 

This is a business-led initiative to assist the government in getting the economy back on track and fixing the country’s energy, logistics, and security problems. 

The initiative comes as SA faces crippling power cuts, a deteriorating freight rail capacity, and a growing threat from criminal groups that have laid siege to public infrastructure. 

It also comes as government and business present a united front to save the country’s relationship with the US and remain a part of preferential trade arrangements. 

Business is already working with the government on three key work streams – energy, logistics, and crime and corruption. 

CEOs have stepped in to assist government committees in addressing these problems. For example, business leaders are already aiding the National Energy Crisis Committee’s (NECOM) efforts to end load-shedding. 

Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler is leading business’ efforts in this regard, with Sanlam CEO Paul Hanratty and Anglo American chairwoman Nolitha Fakude also working on the committee. 

Other business leaders, such as Toyota South Africa CEO Andrew Kirby and former Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo, are focused on solving Transnet’s inefficiencies. 

Remgro CEO Jannie Durand and Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman are involved in tackling crime and corruption. 

Kingston said the renewed effort from businesses to engage with the government comes from the realisation that “if we do not put our shoulders to the wheel, the situation will deteriorate further”.

“No company does not refer to the electricity and logistics disasters, never mind the issue of crime and corruption, as impacting their operations.”

Therefore it is in business’ self-interest to address load-shedding and logistical inefficiencies. 

“These issues are going to be around before, during and after next year’s election.” So companies will not be throwing a lifeline to a poorly performing government that may use business’ success for political point-scoring. 


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