This is according to South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) president, Vusi Khumalo.
“The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry looks forward to the State of the Nation Address as an important opportunity for President Jacob Zuma to respond to urgent economic concerns in the country,” he said.
“SONA should provide an indication of the policy imperatives of government for the forthcoming year. There are several challenges that threaten economic stability that have to be dealt with as priorities over the next several months.”
These concerns include the protracted sustainable electricity supply deficit, service delivery and other protests, and the slow progress in the roll out of the National Development Plan (NDP).
“On energy policy, South Africa urgently requires additional electricity providers in order to take pressure off Eskom,” said Khumalo.
(READ MORE: SACCI calls for an electricity summit)
“Business has been proactive in seeking solutions to the conundrum and having submitted short, medium and long term proposals to both Eskom and the “war room” convened by Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, hopes that the need for load-shedding will be lessened.”
He further stated that one of the key factors for economic growth is infrastructure.
“SACCI would like to see a strong focus on the aspects of the NDP that will support economic activity as opposed to construction projects that add little to South Africa’s international competitiveness,” Khumalo added.
“Positive policy innovations in the NDP will ultimately assist South Africa to improve its attractiveness to foreign direct investors, and also show that “South Africa is open for business” as recently stated by President Zuma at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.”
Khumalo emphasised the fact that the president will deliver his State of the Nation Address in very challenging times and stated that SACCI looks forward to continued cooperation between business and government in overcoming the difficulties.
(READ MORE: SACCI concerned about S.Africa’s economic prospects)
“The business community is yearning to assist government in finding solutions to these challenges. SACCI trusts that the role of the private sector in addressing national impediments to economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation will be a central theme of the president’s address,” he said.
Zuma will present the State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday, 12 February 2015.