March 2020

Help for small businesses

You can watch an interview with Business Day (25 March 2020) on how government will assist small businesses. Here is the link. (For information purposes).

Click here:

Media Statements: Ministry of Small Business Development and Ministry of Health.

Dear Member,

Please see attached documents (and website links) on media statements released yesterday by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Small Business Development for your information.


Media Statement on reducing contact at South African Police Service (SAPS) centres for non-essential documents certification.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) has been working hard with other social partners in reducing the impact of the Corona Virus pandemic.

After consultations with the South African Police Service (SAPS) Gauteng Provincial leadership, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) would like to bring to the attention of business and the public the following;

1. The SAPS client service Centres and stations must observe social distancing protocols by reducing non-essential engagements in the SAPS service centres.

2. In this regard we urge business to avoid requesting job applicants from certifying their documents including academic certificates, at SAPS centres, until they have been short listed for the positions for which they have applied.

3. We must do this to reduce the unnecessary movement at SAPS stations to reduce the rate of Covid -19 infections and flatten the curve of infections.

We urge business owners and the public to cooperate in this regard and join in the fight against this terrible scourge that is threatening the country’s economic well-being.

President Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa is now declared a State of Disaster

An announcement was made on the 15 March 2020 by President Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa is now declared a State of Disaster regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is a mass of material on the internet explaining precautionary measures to protect yourself against the virus, travelling tips etc.

The two we have found most valuable (and will benefit you and your staff etc.) are the following:

Please disseminate this information as widely as possible as we need to ensure everyone is protected by taking the necessary precautions.

Travel Advice

Many of you travel out of the country (South Africa), as well as receive people into South Africa from other countries, not only from Africa, but also abroad.

The National Department of Health has issued a travel advisory (attached) for all travelers.

Please familiarise yourself with this important information on how to take the necessary precaution

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EMBARGO: 11:30 on Thursday, 5 March 2020

Resilient Business Confidence

Despite various headwinds, the SACCI Business Confidence Index (BCI) improved in February 2020 as it increased by 0.5 index point to 92.7. On an annual basis the index was marginally down by 0.7 index point on February 2019. The slight rise of the BCI in February indicates that the business climate, although gloomy, is battling the odds of a tight financial environment and subdued economy. After the BCI measured 93.1 in December 2019 (the highest BCI level in the second half of 2019), the domestic and global business climate experienced exogenous setbacks additional to the expected local economic slowdown.

The exogenous effect of the Corona virus had a notable effect on global financial and commodity markets. Although the effect spilled over to the real economy in terms of global trade and output in certain countries, the monthly BCI data did not reflect major effects in South Africa. However, like in January, the rand, share prices, and international commodity prices like that of crude oil and precious metals, varied significantly.

Five of the thirteen sub-indices of the BCI deteriorated relative to their January 2020 readings, five sub-indices remained unchanged, and three positively affected the BCI in February 2020, namely lower core inflation, increased volumes of merchandise imports, and more new vehicles sales. The business climate deteriorated slightly between February 2020 and February 2019 with the BCI declining year-on-year by 0.7 index point. Higher merchandise export volumes, lower core inflation, and the higher US-dollar prices of precious metals in particular enhanced the business climate compared to February 2019.

The President delivered the 2020 SONA at a crucial juncture in the South African economy. The importance of inclusive growth and the removal of structural economic obstacles were emphasised. In addition, the Minister of Finance had to deal with several challenges that emanate from past public finance trends, control, management, macro-economic imbalances, and a deteriorating economic potential and a slowing economic growth in Budget 2020/21. The Budget did not only require a financial balancing act, but also called for measures that do not cause further damage to the economy and at least stabilise the present fiscal situation.

Budget 2020 is no stimulatory budget or even a holding operation but is born out of a desire to stabilise the economy and begin restructuring the environment for a more sustainable position. More painful adjustments caused by subdued economic growth may occur if business and investor confidence are not inspired to higher levels.

SACCI Media Statement on the Budget Speech

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI), notes the budget speech presented by Minister Mboweni.

Whilst we acknowledge the tough economic times faced by South Africa, we think this speech missed a critically important opportunity to re-imagine the future of the South African economy.

There was not enough detail in the speech on the investment expenditure and allocation of resources to stimulate confidence and growth.

For instance, the Minister announced an R18bn inventive to industry to retain or create 56500 jobs without being specific on where this is to be spent and in what type of programmes. This creates an impression that the Economic Cluster still only has a vague appreciation of the challenging economic conditions and it is not adequately prepared to deal with such conditions appropriately.

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SACCI Media Statement on the 2020 SONA

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry notes and welcomes the President’s remarks in his 2020 State of the Nation address.
We look forward to working with the President and his team in many of the major initiatives announced in his speech.

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Tender Bulletin 3095 14 February 2020

N.B. The Government Printing Works will
not be held responsible for the quality of
“Hard Copies” or “Electronic Files”
submitted for publication purposes
This document is also available on the Internet on the following web sites:

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