1 year ago

Opportunity Issue 100

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors and looks to provide its readers with first-hand knowledge about South African business. Opportunity also looks to present South African business to international markets that may have interests in investing in South Africa. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

FOREWORD A better year

FOREWORD A better year ahead SACCI is committed to helping businesses build back through a range of measures that include fast-tracking grant funding, improving efficiencies and reducing costs. Alan Mukoki, SACCI CEO As we move into the New Year, there are a number of factors that appear to indicate a better year for South Africa. For starters, on the southern tip of Africa, it was our scientists who identified the new variant and the country was punished, in ignorance, as being the catalyst for the new variant and its rapid infection rate. While this has indeed spread rapidly - like a quick-burning fire, it has almost spent itself here and the situation has become manageable. A quick look at the rest of the world suggests a very different picture. At the time of drafting this article, South Africa has 74 000 active infections for a population of 56-million people compared to Australia with just over 1.1-million infections for a population of 24-million people. This gives some perspective to the current state of play. The impression left is that the severity of this wave in South Africa has also been milder than in other parts of the world. Against this background we need to pay attention to our shattered economy. While this has dramatically impacted on every one of us, the effects on the small business sector have been dire. The R500-billion safety net that was supposed to bolster small business, didn’t. Many small businesses that have been around for decades, vanished. The Chamber set up work streams to address the immediate issues and tabled a set of action recommendations both with the President’s advisors and the Deputy President’s office. The plan is to address the areas which have been found wanting, whether this be government agencies or institutions in the private sector, no-one is blameless, but let’s not harp on the negatives. SACCI itself has not been absolved from the damaging effects of this two-year lockdown. But the organisation adapted and took measures to limit as far as possible the revenue-stream impact by addressing the costs of its operations. There can be no doubt that the pressures are on to get more directly involved in the small business community where we are well represented. This required a completely new approach, with the mother body taking a more visible presence in the township economies. A whole suite of measures are being looked _________________ SACCI stands for everything good in our business communities ________________ at, from fast-tracking grant funding to small businesses, addressing the financial support and administrative functions, communication issues, transport network, supply depots to the business community, creating greater efficiency and lower cost of products are all issues that form part of a pilot programme to be instituted. Indeed, we are enthusiastic to implement our plans with key stakeholders in 2022. 6 | Continued on page 8

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