The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber has applauded Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his acknowledgement of the importance of increasing the competitiveness and sustainability of the South African economy during his budget speech on Wednesday.
“Amid global economic uncertainty, we look to the minister to provide the support needed to increase the competitiveness and sustainability of the South African economy,” chamber CEO Kevin Hustler said.
Hustler said the chamber had also welcomed a holistic framework for the development of urban areas in response to the country’s rapid urbanisation around key economic nodes.
“We want to see money spent on preparing these urban areas for the movement of people, including the proactive provision of services, housing and other needs,” he said.
“The topping up of the Green Fund will help us grow the renewable energy sector of the economy. This falls particularly well with the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber’s focus on the renewable energy sector as a strategic pillar of the economy, towards the creation of a green hub in our region. We would like to see the breakdown of the infrastructure spent for the Eastern Cape,” Hustler said.
However, Hustler said they were concerned at the country’s fuel increase, combined with other continually rising input costs. “Rising input costs are harming economic growth and hurting the pockets of every consumer.
“The growth of the economy is hampered as the cost of doing business becomes prohibitive. The knock-on effects of such an increase cannot be underestimated,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) said it had welcomed Gordhan’s announcement and comments on the special economic zones incentives.
Gordhan announced a R2.9bn tax incentive for special economic zones that will be introduced to encourage businesses to set up their enterprises in these zones.
“It was always the plan of the Department of Trade and Industry to implement monetary incentives – largely in response to long-standing pleas from regional industrial development zones.”
The CDC said it was pleasing to note that government was embarking on a path to have government support mechanisms.