The following statement was issued by the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI):
The Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), the non-political pre-eminent business association representing the interests of key sectors of the South African economy, would like to express its “shock” at the recent developments leading to S&P’s announcement on the sovereign credit downgrade to a junk state – coupled with the negative economic outlook.
The country can ill afford the ripple effects given the current pedestrian economic growth cycle. These include redirecting tax revenues from service delivery-related activities to servicing potentially higher interest rates – compounded by the costs associated with a higher currency exchange rate, affecting local and international business confidence in taking long-term investment decisions, resulting in job losses and the inability of ordinary citizens to service their normal household debts.
Our members’ and stakeholders’ anxiety is further compounded by the fact that the JCCI has since 2016 launched a process – underpinned by an annual conference – characterisd by an implementable action plan.
The plan focuses on working with all stakeholders on how best the emerging consensus between government, business, organised labour and civil society can be sustained to eliminate the threats of downgrades, eliminate trust deficit between all stakeholders, whilst enhancing policy stability.
This process also seeks to facilitate more capacity to ensure team SA success integrating all positive initiatives, including the CEO initiative which was led by both Jabu Mabuza and former minister Gordhan.
JCCI appeals to political leaders to ensure that whatever decisions are taken sustainability of the macroeconomic stability is the guiding principle. The flow of the economy must not be disrupted – the casualties of these misguided political decisions happen quickly, but the recovery is a much more lengthy and unpredictable process.