Many African businesses are grappling with the challenges posed by digitalisation as fears mount of the "rise of the machine” and its consequent impact on jobs and growth. However, this myopic view of the future comes with a significant risk as it overlooks the real economic value that digitally driven industry initiatives will bring to growth, development, jobs and society at large.
Talk of radical economic transformation, a concept that has dominated public discourse in recent months, is an outcome of government policy failures, which have left the majority black population on the margins of the mainstream economy, speakers argued during a panel discussion organised by the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (GSB) on Wednesday 19 April.
It’s all about who owes what and how much of it as well as the colour of the owner - and a deep rooted grievance which still has to be settled. 1994 gave us temporary reprieve - but the Rainbow experiment has ended - and we're all to be blamed for it. In 2007, the so-called 'second phase' of the National Democratic Revolution was adopted in Polokwane. It advanced in 2012 in Mangaung. Business did not take any of that seriously - they thought (perhaps hoped) that things would remain the same. It didn't.
Small business representative organisation AHI says the news that the rating agency, Fitch, has downgraded South Africa's credit rating to sub-investment grade will lead to catastrophically lower economic growth, with some estimating billions of Rands in outflows and a doubling of our current account deficit.
Few people realise that the largest source of business funding in South Africa is provided by private companies themselves. Businesses extend credit to their customers and obtain credit from their suppliers, usually in the form of short-term funding which lasts for 30 to 60 days per transaction.
It has happened! For months we, as a nation, have been struggling and fighting not to be downgraded to junk status, but on Monday, 3 April 2017, following the cabinet reshuffle, it was announced that South Africa’s sovereign credit rating was cut. However, what does that mean?
On 3 April 2017, Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services decided to cut South Africa’s international credit rating from BBB- to BB+. A rating of BB+ is considered below investment grade (sometimes referred to as "junk status”). Unfortunately, the negative ratings outlook was also retained, suggesting that S&P could revise the country’s credit rating lower at year-end should the fiscal parameters deteriorate significantly.