Sat, 24 Aug 2019

Eradicating corruption is at the top of the list of issues members of the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry would like to see President Cyril Ramaphosa and his new Cabinet tackle.

A survey ahead of the national election among the members of the chamber - which effectively represent the German bilateral business community in SA - aimed to establish what Ramaphosa should address in order to foster positive economic growth.

Respondents represented the engineering, automotive, manufacturing, financial services and legal and advisory sectors. Overall, the survey indicated a positive sentiment with 66% of respondents indicating a positive outlook for future investments.

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Red Tape

Another survey, this time by Sage, found that around 70% of South African companies trading internationally spend more than 35 hours per week on compliance.

Businesses in this survey indicated that the top three things that the SA government should do to better support their aspirations to increase international trade are developing opportunities in international markets (37%); providing investment incentives and funding (36%); and the removal of trade barriers (35%).

These businesses would also like to see the reduction of data costs; the moving to greener and more sustainable energy sources; harnessing the productivity gains of automation and building SA's national competence in science and technology.

"With an unemployment rate of more than 27% and employment declining in industries like mining, it is up to the small business sector to make the difference," said Pieter Bensch, executive vice-president at Sage Africa & Middle East.

"Government should be asking how it can build a nation of entrepreneurs and innovators," said Bensch.

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