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Budget 2023: Rope in the private sector to fix the crises, Busa asks

Busa CEO Cas Coovadia says business hopes finance minister Enoch Godongwana will pronounce a budget that sends out a clear message that all stops need to be pulled out to enable substantially greater private sector involvement in the socio-economy. File photo.
Busa CEO Cas Coovadia says business hopes finance minister Enoch Godongwana will pronounce a budget that sends out a clear message that all stops need to be pulled out to enable substantially greater private sector involvement in the socio-economy. File photo.
Image: Thulani Mbele

A lack of capacity to implement the urgent reforms required to address the severe crises on several fronts requires a real partnership with the private sector, says Business Unity South Africa (Busa).

Ahead of the budget speech to be presented by finance minister Enoch Godongwana on Wednesday afternoon, Busa CEO Cas Coovadia said: “The private sector has, over the past four years, consistently offered to work with government to bring its capacity and resources to bear in addressing some of the crises, and we have undertaken detailed work on energy, logistics and law and order, but have not been able to convince government to partner with us.”

He highlighted the challenges as:

  • the ongoing load-shedding and broader energy crisis;
  • severe crisis in logistics with particular emphasis on the failures at Transnet, but also related to crumbling roads infrastructure,;
  • breakdown in law and order and prevalence of organised crime;
  • impending water crisis, and;
  • low levels of investment.

“This is exacerbated by a seeming inability on the part of government to recognise the urgency of addressing these crises and a lack of capacity to implement much needed interventions and reforms,” said Coovadia.

He said business hoped Godongwana would pronounce a budget that sends out a clear message that all stops need to be pulled out to enable substantially greater private sector involvement in the socio-economy.

“The budget must allocate funds, with conditions that such funds must be utilised in a way that invites, in real partnership, the private sector to work with government to make a fundamental impact on addressing the crises and instilling confidence in the country, with resultant investment and growth.”

The critical areas in the budget he hoped the minister would provide included giving clarity to plans for the sovereign to absorb some of Eskom’s debt, subsidies for rooftop solar power for both commercial and private citizens, put checks and balances in place to encourage utilisation of funds responsibly, limit borrowing and provide information on how government will manage the real risk of “grey listing” by the Financial Action Task Force.

TimesLIVE

 


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