Policy madness: SA’s industrialisation policies have slowed economic growth

Albert Einstein once famously said, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ Does this relate to South Africa’s localisation policies? As government doubles down and more “aggressively” pursues localisation policy, the Small Business Institute (SBI) and researchers SBP (Small Business Project), funded by Exxaro, looked at the data to see how well South Africa has been served by the localisation policies during the three planning “eras” of Gear, AsgiSA and the NDP. Have we effectively seen the same results over and over again,…

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To thrive in a pandemic, you need to reinvent your business

The Covid-19 pandemic has given rise to many debates. But if there’s one thing commentators appear to be united in, it’s the certainty that our world will be forever changed by it. We’ve all heard the phrase the ‘new normal’, and some economists have predicted that most businesses will have to fundamentally change the way they operate to be able to succeed in a post-Covid global economy. The good news is, that this is entirely possible – science tells us so. Businesses that are sufficiently agile and creative have the…

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Covid-19: Quantifying the impact of the alcohol ban on SA’s agricultural sector

  By Thulasizwe Mkhabela JOHANNESBURG – According to Milton Friedman, one of the great economists of the 20th century, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results”. Just because a policy intervention is intended for the greater good of society does not mean that there will be no unintended consequences. When assessing these policies, we should not look at the good intentions that produced and necessitated them, but at their actual effects at addressing the problem at hand and on…

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How the reconstruction and recovery plan will impact SMEs

  JOHANNESBURG – Acknowledging the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on the global economy, the President has announced the reconstruction and recovery plan for SA, with a focus on inclusive growth. ; Some of the main focus areas are job creation and reindustrialisation of the economy. Examples of where the impact could be felt by SA SMEs includes the following. The government plans to bring forward the rollout of various large infrastructure projects, which typically have a positive knock on effect on SMEs that are suppliers to big projects and…

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Enhancing agricultural development and technology transfer through a revitalised extension system

  By Thulasizwe Mkhabela JOHANNESBURG – Governments have scaled down their direct involvement in agricultural extension. In developed countries, extension services – often dubbed advisory services – have largely been privatised and farmers have to pay to access it. In South Africa, there is a general consensus that the system has declined or at worst collapsed. Researchers have also noticed the declining value that publicly provided agricultural extension services have contributed to the sector and this has manifested itself in the burgeoning literature on farmers’ willingness to pay for extension…

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SA agreement with South East Asian bloc opens up a host of opportunities

    South Africa is in the process of acceding to the Treaty of Amity of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the fifth-largest economy in the world. The potential for future trade, investment and a host of other cooperation agreements is exciting. Few regions in the world offer such promise and potential for the future of South Africa’s international relations as the region comprising the members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). From large consumer markets, dynamic trade and investment opportunities to a successful…

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SA’s business dexterity on full display during Covid-19

  Continuing review of facets of the operating model to meet the new realities of doing things is necessary to assure business agility 01 OCTOBER 2020 – 18:24 SEELAN GOBALSAMY Picture: 123RF/nightunter Bringing together the best innovation, continuous improvement and considerable intellectual capital has always differentiated leaders in the chemical business. This reality has, however, been brought into clearer — and more urgent — focus as a result of the global pandemic. There are many examples of businesses that have been rewarded for their investments in research and development, both in…

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With little to no economic growth in SA, investors need diversified portfolios

 OPINION The inflexibility of the local labour market means we probably have not yet seen the full extent of unemployment 29 SEPTEMBER 2020 – 05:00 ANDREW DUVENAGE Picture: 123RF/MOOV STOCK The reality is that the SA economy is likely to continue to struggle. The country entered the Covid-19 crisis in a precarious fiscal position with an economy that has been in a state of decline for several years. Given the length and severity of the lockdown — one of the harshest globally — it should be no surprise that GDP contracted…

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Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic Karena Crerar, Edelman Africa Advisory Practice Lead

Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic Karena Crerar, Edelman Africa Advisory Practice Lead

The rapidly evolving Covid-19 pandemic has not only presented an alarming health crisis, but is also causing significant social and economic implications across the globe. In uncertain environments like this, trust in institutions – businesses, organizations, and governments – becomes even more critical. Strong leadership and decisive action are needed to earn that trust and shape our post-crisis future. We have observed groups of people ignoring critical health guidance, in part because they doubted the veracity of available information or because they relied on disinformation. At the same time, a…

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