Business / Business News

Alex Mitchley
2 minute read
12 Feb 2016
10:23 am

Banking Association responds to Sona

Alex Mitchley

“Sona has clearly identified the economy and economic growth as the number one priority for SA”

Cas Coovadia |

Following the State of the Nation Address (Sona) by President Jacob Zuma on Thursday evening, the Banking Association South Africa (BASA) welcomed the 2016 Sona as the first in a few years that has critically reflected on how to achieve economic growth in order to address the socio-economic challenges facing our country.

“This Sona has clearly identified the economy, and sustained inclusive economic growth, as the number one priority for our country,” said Cas Coovadia, Managing Director of BASA.

“The Sona also emphasised the NDP as the vision for the country and to address the fundamental issues government must deal with to create the environment for inclusive growth.”

“We look forward to the minister of finance giving detail of implementation on these fundamental issues in his Budget Speech on 24th February.”

BASA also noted that they were pleased with the engagement between business, the President and Pravin Gordhan, minister of finance in the last two weeks has informed government’s program of action.

BASA said they supported a number fundamental issues highlighted Zuma which government must address in order to promote sustained inclusive growth at high levels.

These included; expenditure and the commitment to reducing wasteful expenditure in government and managing the fiscus, recognising the weaknesses in State Owned Enterprises, a commitment to address legislation and regulation impeding investment as well as job creation, unemployment and skills development.

“BASA notes Government’s support for a national minimum wage and the President’s indication that minimum wages must be pegged at levels that do not undermine job creation. We agree with this approach.”

In conclusion, BASA said they would continue to urge government to address issues not covered in the Sona, but believe that this Sona has created a sufficient platform through which government and business can work to concretise the recent engagements to deliver a growing economy.

“We urge labour organisations to join us in this national effort.”

“The President emphasised that as a country, working together, we can address local conditions impeding economic growth. BASA supports and encourages this approach.”