The Durban Chamber welcomes the opportunity to comment on President Cyril Ramaphosa's economic stimulus and recovery plan announced on Friday, 21 September 2018.
Cost of doing business
The Durban Chamber fully supports President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that government is actively going to prioritise action on a key barrier to business and economic growth, namely the cost of doing business. At a recent Durban Chamber engagement, organised business raised concerns regarding the competitiveness and efficiency of Durban's Port. It is factors such as these that compromise the ease of doing business and raise the overall cost of doing business in Durban and South Africa as a whole. The Durban Chamber will openly engage with all stakeholders, members and the business community at large to ensure that there are actionable outcomes and results to removing cost as an obstacle to business and economic growth.
Revised mining charter
The Durban Chamber believes that President Ramaphosa's announcement of cabinet approval of a revised mining charter and the proposed review of the controversial Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act will greatly benefit this sector by improving regulatory certainty and potentially stimulating growth and investment in the sector itself. The result will also greatly benefit up-stream and down-stream mining activities as well as across the value chain particularly for key sectors such as manufacturing. With several key industrial and manufacturing zones in eThekwini and the surrounding areas, the growth and job creation potential for our regional economy will be positively impacted by the resultant knock-on effect of these announcements.
The Durban Chamber believes that President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement on reforming visa regulations is a much-needed step in the right direction towards improving on and achieving intercontinental and cross-continental trade and investment. Sectors such as Export and Tourism plus their respective value chains are poised to catalyse South Africa's economy. As the Durban Chamber, we are committed to ensuring that Durban is suitably and favourably positioned as the preferred city to do business with, not only within South Africa but on the African continent as well as the global market.
The Durban Chamber acknowledges President Cyril Ramaphosa for his stated commitment to prioritise funding towards the agriculture sector as well as township and rural areas. The agricultural sector has always been a cornerstone of Durban's regional economy and once funding is allocated it will provide a much-needed boost to the sector. The agricultural sector has the ability to create jobs for the betterment of South Africa as well as the potential for growth through opportunities in the export market and reliance on local trade (buy local) rather than imports. On the other hand, stimulating economic activity in the townships and rural areas will help bridge the gap between the "first" and "second" economies. This will create jobs, reduce inequality, increase equal access to opportunities and, ultimately, decrease poverty levels. Allocating funding to the formal and informal business sector in townships and rural areas will produce desired results such as labour absorption as well as social and economic inclusion. The Durban Chamber is ready through its various private-public partnership structures to work with relevant local, provincial and national government structures in this regard.
The Durban Chamber is excited about the President's announcement of the establishment of an infrastructure fund "in excess of R400 billion". Infrastructure is a catalyst for economic development. It is essential that the government manages the efficient and effective use of resources that meet the needs of citizens and businesses, while simultaneously facilitating local economic development and supporting government strategies and plans. The Durban Chamber believes that in order to unlock economic spin-offs within the infrastructure network public-private partnerships are pivotal.
Overall, the Durban Chamber is encouraged by President Cyril Ramaphosa's economic stimulus and recovery plan and we look forward to the midterm budget speech which will provide much-needed details on each element of the economic stimulus package.
About the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Founded in 1856, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the largest member-based metropolitan chamber in South Africa and advocates on behalf of and represents the eThekwini business community as the "voice of business in Durban". The Durban Chamber's strategic purpose is to help create a conducive economic and business environment to facilitate and promote economic growth in the region in partnership with key stakeholders. For more information, visit
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