President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the opening address when Business Unity South Africa hosts its second annual Business Economic Indaba next week Tuesday in Johannesburg, under the theme of South Africa's ever-illusive "economic revival".
The South African economy has been under performing in terms of growth and job creation for the better part of a decade. The World Bank released a report this past week in which it cut its economic growth projection for SA to below 1%, putting it at 0.9% for 2020.
So dire are the prospects of meaningful growth that Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni took to Twitter to warn his colleagues in government and the African National Congress of "dire consequences" if South Africa did not push ahead with economic reforms.
In a statement BUSA president Sipho Pityana said it would host the Business Indaba to allow business to play a role to play in South Africa’s economic and social revival and have discussions with government on how to bring that about.
"That is precisely why we are hosting BEI2020 now – we urgently need to map out, as business and government, what can be done to address the serious economic crisis we find ourselves is," said Pityana.
Pityana said South Africa had no shortage of economic troubles with government debt growing 26% in 2008 to 56% of GDP in 2019 and unemployment rising to almost 30% with 10 million people currently unemployed.
"As if this is not enough, we are also facing a real prospect of a sovereign rating downgrade that could exacerbate these conditions," Pityana said.
According to the BUSA statement, the focus areas at the indaba will include energy security, enabling a capable state, critical sectors for economic growth, the structure of the economy and the fourth industrial revolution.