Power struggle between BMF and BLSA gave rise to radical policy

In the past few weeks, a three-word catchphrase has spooked investors. “Radical economic transformation” has become the catchphrase for supporters of the recent Cabinet reshuffle, which sent financial markets into a tailspin and led Standard & Poor’s and Fitch to downgrade South Africa’s debt to junk.

President Jacob Zuma said his restructured Cabinet, which affected 10 ministers and 10 deputy ministers in all, will drive radical economic transformation (RET). The rating agencies read this as a signal of a significant shift in South Africa’s economic policies, a prospect that has made investors nervous and raised fears of capital flight, rising interest rates, and the spectre of a recession. Since the Cabinet reshuffle, RET has been hotly debated. 

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Overhauled tender regulations to benefit black suppliers

After fierce lobbying, back-and-forth deliberations and litigation threats, the National Treasury on 1 April brought into effect preferential procurement regulations aimed at securing a bigger slice of state tenders for black and female suppliers.

The Black Business Council (BBC), South Africa’s main mouthpiece for black businesspeople, has clashed with the Treasury over amendments to the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) regulations in the three years it took to reform the policy before it was gazetted on 20 January this year. 

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SA textiles industry must be supported to sustain its revival

In the last seven years, the South African textile, clothing, leather and footwear (TCLF) sector has experienced a resurgence, after almost being brought to its knees by an influx of cheap Chinese imports.

The revival of the TCLF sector is directly linked to the introduction of the government’s Clothing & Textiles Competitiveness Programme (CTCP) in 2010, which has given local industry players a much-needed shot in the arm and laid out a platform from which to launch a competitive sector. 

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How will Zuma use competition laws to de-concentrate SA’s economic ownership?

It went largely unnoticed, but President Jacob Zuma made one of his most significant policy pronouncements yet on economic redress in his recent State of the Nation Address.

Zuma revealed that the department of economic development will this year present an amendment to the Competition Act that seeks to dismantle cartels and monopolies in certain sectors of the economy as part of his administration’s “radical economic transformation” agenda.

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ESD can speed up development of black businesses

Of all the pillars of black economic empowerment, enterprise and supplier development (ESD) provides the best hope of launching thousands of marginalised black entrepreneurs into the upper echelons of the South African economy.

The idea behind ESD is to train black business owners to be competent in running their enterprises sustainably. Once this has been achieved, these businesses are plugged into the supply chains of large, white-controlled corporates to supply goods and services, thereby opening markets previously closed to them.

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