Business welcomes the 2020 SONA

Friday, February 14, 2020

The South African Chamber of Commerce (SACCI) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry notes and welcomes the President’s remarks in his 2020 State of the Nation address,” it said on Friday.

This as President Ramaphosa tabled the SONA in a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces on Thursday night.

The chamber said challenges in energy availability should receive the level of attention promised in the address.

South Africa’s major challenges in the area of affordable and consistent energy availability to drive business, industry and commerce should receive the level of attention promised in the address. Similarly, the action on fixing state owned enterprises to contribute to economic growth and the planned actions around creating a capable state are good interventions,” it said.

In his address, President Ramaphosa said government will implement measures that are set to fundamentally improve South Africa’s energy generation capacity.

Measures taken include a Section 34 Ministerial Determination that will be issued shortly to give effect to the Integrated Resource Plan 2019, enabling the development of additional grid capacity from renewable energy, natural gas, hydro power, battery storage and coal.

SACCI welcomed the President’s intentions in the areas of addressing youth skills development from early childhood development to a reduction of youth unemployment.

“We particularly congratulate the President for having made this SONA speech to be about inclusive economic growth and job creation.”

“Whilst the announced plans indicate a level of seriousness in addressing the short to medium term challenges, we would urge the government to articulate a very clear long-term vision and plan for the republic of South Africa,” said the chamber.

The triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality need to be addressed if South Africa is to move from being a developing economy to a developed economy.

“We wish to echo the President’s call that these problems cannot be solved by government alone.”

“All social partners and stakeholders now need to focus more on working together to find solutions to the complex problems facing South Africa and our potential and assumed leadership role in the African continent,” it said. –