On 19 May 2023, Deputy President Paul Mashatile held a dialogue with business leaders, hosted by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The engagement focused on the role of government and business in addressing the socio-economic challenges facing our country.
The session was attended by CEO’s and senior executives, as well as business associations, including Business Unity South Africa, Business Leadership South Africa and the Black Business Council amongst others. The dialogue focused on issues affecting and hindering the private sector’s ability to play a meaningful role in working with the government to create a conducive environment for economic prosperity.
The event provided the Deputy President an opportunity to speak to the major deliverables of his portfolio, policy reforms as well as steps being taken to enhance investor confidence, which touches on energy security, the economy, social compacting, crime, corruption, foreign direct investment and international relations and trade.
The captains of industry raised issues of concern affecting their constituents, particularly those relating to their ability to operate efficiently. They urged the government to work with a greater sense of urgency in attending to the current energy crisis, crime and corruption, and processing of applications relating to statutory obligations hindering their ability to conduct business effectively.
Leila Fourie, JSE Group CEO, said: “Business, and society at large, is dealing with challenges on several fronts, most obviously energy security and the deteriorating reliability of the logistics system. Collaboration, mobilisation of capital and execution is required to rebuild business and investor confidence. The JSE, as a conduit for capital, can play an important convening role in solving for many of these challenges.”
Deputy President Mashatile emphasised the government’s commitment to working with the private sector to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing the country. The Deputy President informed business leaders in attendance that a comprehensive social compact between the two partners would go a long way towards putting South Africa on the right track. It was agreed that such a meeting between the government and the business community should be convened in the next six months.
Deputy President Mashatile welcomed these resolutions as a progressive step forward:
“As a means of moving forward, engagement with the JSE-listed companies will be institutionalised for future engagement and as a platform to expedite the implementation of the commitments made,” he said.
To this end, a follow-up meeting with Western Cape-based JSE-listed companies will be scheduled for the near future.
ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY AND THE JOHANNESBURG STOCK EXCHANGE