South African business leaders and the government have committed to assist small firms, already impacted by the downturn in the economy, that have now been dealt a double blow due to the recent unrest in the country.
This was one of the resolutions made during a meeting President Cyril Ramaphosa convened with more than 100 industry leaders across economic sectors, to discuss the current security crisis and assess the impact on infrastructure and operations.
“The meeting discussed areas where government and business could work together to rebuild the country in the aftermath of the crisis,” acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni told journalists on Wednesday afternoon.
The premiers of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and several ministers in the government’s economic cluster, joined the meeting on Tuesday.
“The business sector was represented by organised business including those representing informal businesses and SMMES, and CEOs from various sectors of business. In the meeting, business leaders and government committed to rebuilding the country and ensuring that poverty and inequality are addressed speedily,” Ntshavheni said.
“Business leaders and government committed to assist small businesses that were already negatively affected by the downturn in the economy as a result of the pandemic. Business leaders said that in their engagements with their international counterparts, they would communicate a message that South Africa was rising to rebuild and do business with the rest of the world,” she said.
President Ramaphosa called for a partnership with a shared national purpose among all role players now and in the years ahead.
“The meeting agreed on the need to rebuild an economy that is far more resilient, sustainable, dynamic, and inclusive. We want to reassure all South Africans, the SADC region and the international community in general that the situation in our country is now stable and economic activities have returned to normal. We want to thank the SADC community and the international community in general for supporting South Africa through this difficult time,” she said.