Busi­ness con­fi­dence edges up slightly among SA com­pa­nies

Cape Argus - - METRO -

BUSI­NESS con­fi­dence among South African com­pa­nies edged up just slightly last month, with the mo­men­tum seen since Septem­ber slow­ing, a sur­vey showed yes­ter­day.

The SA Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try’s (Sacci) busi­ness con­fi­dence in­dex (BCI) for Novem­ber mea­sured 96.1, up just 0.3 in­dex points mon­thon-month.

“The up­ward mo­men­tum of the BCI since Septem­ber 2018 ap­pears to have flattened and it is the sec­ond time this year that the busi­ness cli­mate he­si­tated after en­cour­ag­ing steps to de­velop and en­hance busi­ness con­fi­dence,” Sacci said.

It said the econ­omy con­tin­ued to face var­i­ous lim­i­ta­tions ow­ing to in­ad­e­quate growth, grow­ing pub­lic debt, cap­i­tal out­flows, world trade ten­sions, fis­cal con­straints and sev­eral so­cio-po­lit­i­cal chal­lenges that pre­vented op­ti­mal eco­nomic per­for­mance.

South Africa ex­ited a tech­ni­cal re­ces­sion in the third quar­ter but over­all growth was ex­pected to be anaemic at 0.7% this year, much lower than the 1.5% the Na­tional Trea­sury fore­cast in Fe­bru­ary.

Sacci noted that some state-owned en­ter­prises in par­tic­u­lar were fac­ing se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial con­straints and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an in­abil­ity to de­liver proper pub­lic ser­vices, sin­gling out Eskom.

Yes­ter­day, the cash-strapped util­ity said it would con­tinue with power cuts that it has been forced to im­ple­ment coun­try­wide for more than a week to avoid a to­tal col­lapse of the grid.

Sacci said pro­pos­als and de­bates around the gov­ern­ment’s plans to amend the Con­sti­tu­tion to al­low for land ex­pro­pri­a­tion with­out com­pen­sa­tion “need to be con­sid­ered with the ut­most sen­si­tiv­ity for its eco­nomic con­se­quences”.

“It should be guided by les­sons of in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence and fo­cus on en­hanc­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity and strength­en­ing se­cu­rity of ten­ure,” it said. |

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