Businesses remain an important asset in SA’s economy: BLSA

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Businesses remain the most significant direct contributor to the South African economy and employs 6,9 times the number of public sector employees. This is according to a report released  by Quantec on Monday.

The study was commissioned by Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) to better understand the national footprint of its members. 57 of BLSA’s 73 large and multi-national companies participated in the study. BLSA says the study clearly shows that businesses are not in an investment strike.

The study shows that the direct output created by BLSA members alone was R1.9 trillion in 2016. While one trillion of BLSA big businesses paid to supplies to support small entrepreneur’s in the supply chain.

CEO of BLSA Bonang Mohale says the report shows that businesses remain an important asset to the South African economy and the narrative that it is not investing is not true.

“You have a government that looks at business as the enemy and calls it white monopoly capital. So Quantec research was asked to conduct imperial research so that we don’t speak like politicians but we speak with facts. So it was about quantifying our member’s activities and their contribution to the GDP.  Big business supports small business in the enterprise supply chain, enabling them to pay people to pay taxes. BLSA collectively received 34.4 points out of the 40 points component that talks about enterprise and supply development.”

Mohale says big business also contributed significantly to job creation last year and spent almost ten billion on training and skills development.

“These 57 BLSA members employ 1.3 million people with another almost 2 million jobs supported in the supply chain. 597 000 people are dependent on these BLSA employees. So these companies contribute about 24% of private sector employment and pay full time and part time employees just under R2 trillion.”

BLSA says it will continue to engage with government and the top six of the African National Congress (ANC) to show that businesses are willing to do more to encourage inclusive economic growth. Mohale says government must create the economic and policy conditions necessary for growth to occur.

“When the minister of finance was appointed we met with him as business in general we heavily invested in this country and we care that is why our campaign believes in this country. The president is the one who decided to disappoint all of us by being the one who disrupts this business, labour and government unity.  First by charging a seating minister of finance and then secondly the events when we witnessed the most wholesale cabinet reshuffle this country has ever witnessed.”

BLSA is an independent association whose members include the leaders of some of South Africa’s biggest and most well knows organisations. Taxation to government from its members amounted to over R431 million last year -36% of total taxes collected.

Members also contributed 36% of the total domestic output in 2016. BLSA says its members remain committed to investing and job creation in the country.



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