KZN is now starting to show signs of returning to some normalisation after the COVD restrictions. Unfortunately, there is a lot of catchup work to be done by all to return our economy to where we can realise increased economic activity and investment.
It was great to see the results of the latest Business Confidence Index coming out of the iLembe Chamber of Commerce Industry and Tourism BCI survey that showed an increase in business confidence.
Organised business recently renewed their commitment to the KZN Economic Council Social Accord in working together with government, labour and civil society in achieving the KZN economic growth targets. We are delighted that there is a commitment from government to partner with business on critical infrastructure and service delivery models. A new way of working together in achieving tangible improvements in the business environment will have significant impact to the KZN.
KZN has felt the brunt of the looting. Some businesses have not been able to recover. This together with navigating the business mafia forum created a toxic business environment to say the least. The individual Chambers have worked very hard in assisting the safety and security cluster in stabilising the situation on the ground.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Palesa Phili (CEO) and Nigel Ward (President) of Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry for their dedication and hard work through this period. eThekwini felt the biggest brunt of the looting and the Durban Chamber has worked tirelessly in assisting their members to get back on their feet and to protect their investment going forward.
The positive move by government in creating specialised policing units to stop the continued business mafia operations is certainly a move in the right direction. Business commits to assist in any investigations in the hope that these criminal activities cease, and the perpetrators are brought to book.
On a positive note, businesses are starting to get back on their feet and are working harder than ever to bring back growth to the KZN economy. The recent South African Investment conference raised R332 million in pledges of which a significant proportion came out of KZN. We look forward to the successful implementation of these investments with the help of government in assisting with navigating the red tape. Keep up the hard work!