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With South Africa’s GDP growth forecast to be just 0.7% for 2019, most businesses are taking severe strain. To prevail in this difficult economic climate, each business will need to ensure that it is running an efficient operation. Here are some ways that small and medium businesses (SMBs) can reposition themselves to succeed in a downturn economy.
With GDP up 3.1% in the second quarter of 2019 (seasonally adjusted, annualised) and 0.9% for the year to June 2019, the markets have responded positively. The rand appreciated by some 10 cents on publication of the data and bonds yields declined by about 10 basis points.
With GDP growth prospects forecast at a meagre 1.3% for 2019, and 1.7% in 2020, business confidence in mid-2019 remains at an all-time low. Exacerbated by policy uncertainty, debilitating bouts of power cuts, challenges in industries such as mining, and political events like national elections, getting out of the slump continues to be a pipe dream for corporate South Africa.
With the elections now largely behind us, investors’ focus will shift to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ability and political will in addressing issues of concern, namely: the composition of cabinet to be announced on the 28th of May, transforming the economy with the promised policy reform and resolving the problem that Eskom poses to South Africa.
It is an unmitigated moral tragedy that in the year of celebrating what would have been Mandela’s 101st birthday, the incumbent government has betrayed him on an issue about which that he felt strongly. This is the resolution by parliament to make it constitutionally permissible to expropriate land without compensation (EWC). Despite the rhetoric to the contrary, the resolution does not exempt anyone, not any racial group or entity.
Africa is a large continent, and investors tend to pick and choose their markets based on a multitude of criteria. Some see opportunities in emerging arenas while others focus on more developed and mature opportunities.
Home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Africa is a hot investment destination. More than 75 per cent of companies and investors in Africa are successful. Why? And how could you reap the benefits of doing business on the continent?
The Q4 2018 GDP growth numbers are encouraging in light of the tough environment that we have just emerged from. Given that we came out of a technical recession in 2018, the turnaround to see positive growth for the full year is heartening. And while it may still not be enough to address many of our structural issues, the positive signs are likely to keep the rating agencies at bay.