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As South Africa enters an election year, the issue of black ownership continues to be a dominant aspect within the country’s transformation landscape. This was clearly articulated in the ANC 2019 election manifesto address by president Cyril Ramaphosa when he reaffirmed government’s commitment to working with the financial sector to increase industrial and enterprise financing for black industrialists as well as small businesses and cooperatives.
South African employers report conservative hiring plans for the second quarter of 2019. With 12% of employers expecting to increase payrolls, 6% forecasting a decrease and 80% anticipating no change, once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variation the Outlook stands at +5%.
Improving female participation in work across the OECD could boost total GDP by US$6 trillion, according to a new report released by PwC. Analysing the representation and welfare of women in the world of work across 33 OECD countries, PwC’s latest Women in Work Index also finds that the OECD could gain US$2 trillion by closing the gender pay gap.
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.
The South African Competition Amendment Act 18 of 2018 (‘the Amendment Act’) which was tabled in Parliament in July 2018, and signed into law by President Ramaphosa last month, has been the subject of much debate and comment, especially insofar as it aims to implement far-reaching changes to the currentCompetition Act 89 of 1998 (‘the Competition Act’).
As expected, this was a conservative budget with no sweeping changes to most forms of taxation. The Finance Minister took advantage of some new revenue sources such as carbon taxes, but, for the most part, continued to stick to the script of limiting bracket creep adjustment, sin taxes and fuel levies to raise more money.
The stakes have never been higher, and despite Minister Tito Mboweni’s always-jovial presence in parliament as he tabled Budget 2019, his words prepared us for the bitter medicine that must be swallowed before we can experience economic recovery.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s maiden Budget speech is a structural reform budget, which aims to reduce the immediate fiscal and economic risks posed by Eskom’s and other State Owned Enterprises’ (SOEs) unsustainable balance sheets and operational models.
In the 2019 State of the Nation Address, our President set out an ambitious agenda for our nation. It is an agenda that speaks to the South Africa that we can be. It is a task list for all of us. It lays out a series of interventions that will put South Africa on a bold new path.