“South Africa needs to start working on alternative power sources such as promoting private power generation that can be sold to the national grid,” South African Chamber of Commerce’s Peggy Drodskie said at a press conference in Johannesburg.
The Chamber’s economic consultant, Richard Downing, also said the economy was not doing well at the moment due to exposure to other global headwinds.
“Business confidence is not at its best and this is constraining the economy. There is some positive movement but not enough to boost business confidence,” said Downing.
He also said the country should be too careful about the falling fuel prices adding that there was need for real action in terms of leadership to give direction to the economy.
The Chamber’s president Vusi Khumalo said the situation in the economy was a challenge for the whole country, business and economy.
Steve Conradie, chief executive of Security Industry Association also took the occasion to call for a revisit of the security bill as it was a threat to investor confidence.
“The bill is currently at the President’s table awaiting his signature. If signed, the limitation of foreign ownership will violate South Africa’s international obligations and trade agreements,” said Conradie.
He also said his organisation together with the Chamber had asked Zuma to refer the bill back to the parliament especially to deal with the contentious section 20 that deals with limits on foreign ownership.
The security industry has an annual turnover of about 50 billion rand.
“Over 445,000 people are employed in the security sector with over 8,000 businesses involved.”
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Connie Peters, an immigration lawyer said the immigration was also contributing to the challenges in the economy as the system was making it difficult for critical skills to be utilised in the economy.
“Immigration laws enacted during the tenure of Malusi Gigaba have been hurting businesses. We have a crisis in the country especially for critical skills,” she said.
Peters said there was need for the country to address issues of service delivery and attitude of embassy staff so as to help facilitate movement of people with skills South Africa desperately needed.