'If Ramaphosa doesn't address structural reforms, Sona will be waste of time'
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address critical issues tripping up South Africa during his State of the Nation address tonight, including job creation, inclusive growth and the public wage bill.
Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO, Busisiwe Mavuso, says Sona this year must be seen in the context of a threatened downgrade by ratings agency Moody's.
She's hoping the president will speak to attracting investors to South Africa.
The biggest problem we are going to be solving as a country is that of low growth so we have to have interventions towards fiscal consolidation; we have to have interventions around fixing our state-owned enterprises, and definitely about dealing with the public service wage bill.Busisiwe Mavuso, CEO - Business Leadership South Africa
Unless and until we talk to that, unfortunately this State of the Nation Address is going to be a waste of time.Busisiwe Mavuso, CEO - Business Leadership South Africa
Irrespective of whether Moody's keeps us at investment grade or they downgrade the country to junk status, the key thing we're going to have be conversant about is the fact that we are facing a deep economic lie as a country - We're sitting with unprecedented numbers of unemployment, of youth unemployment and of poverty.Busisiwe Mavuso, CEO - Business Leadership South Africa
We've been talking about structural reforms for the past two years... This Sona ought to give strong signalling towards where we want to go as a country.Busisiwe Mavuso, CEO - Business Leadership South Africa
Clement Manyathela also speaks to Cosatu's parliamentary deputy co-ordinator about the trade union federation's expectations ahead of Sona tonight.
Like Mavuso, he emphasizes the staggering unemployment rate which needs to be addressed.
But Parks says it's not good enough for business to "pontificate" - they need to put their money where their mouth is.
We need to see them [business] leading the investment drive. That's the only way we can grow the economy.Matthew Parks, Parliamentary deputy co-ordinator - Cosatu
It can't be just the president working, and a few ministers. Others must also come to the party.Matthew Parks, Parliamentary deputy co-ordinator - Cosatu
Parks also gives an update on Cosatu's controversial Eskom pensions rescue plan.
We're still engaged in negotiations between labour, between business, between government and community... but it's received very positive responses, not just from government but other labour federations and also from Business Unity SA, which I think agrees with us in principle.Matthew Parks, Parliamentary deputy co-ordinator - Cosatu
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