Strengthening business ties

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the Muslim Business Community at Kingsmead Office Park in Durban on Sunday evening. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/ Independent Newspapers

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the Muslim Business Community at Kingsmead Office Park in Durban on Sunday evening. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/ Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 23, 2024


Durban — President Cyril Ramaphosa has told the Muslim Business Community in Durban that a presidential working group will meet every three weeks to get a report on the progress of addressing challenges facing metros.

The Minara Chamber of Commerce and Al Baraka Bank hosted Ramaphosa at the Kingsmead Office Park on Sunday evening.

Ramaphosa, who is on the election campaign trail, said that he intended to strengthen ties between the government and the business sector.

Ramaphosa said that he would remove red tape to ensure businesses could operate easily.

During his speech, Ramaphosa mentioned six priorities that needed to be addressed for their manifesto to succeed, and ultimately for the country to succeed.

Ramaphosa emphasised job creation and the importance of the private sector as the primary creator of jobs. Ramaphosa said that the government would assist in job creation and make sure that the economy could function.

“We create jobs annually but the efforts are outstripped by the number of people that enter the job market daily.

“To address this, we embarked on reforms which are bearing fruit. Before, it used to take three years to get a water licence, but now we are removing red tape to ensure that businesses can operate,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa said the government was building roads and dams to deal with infrastructure challenges.

The president said that the government was focusing on new industries – the digital economy, electric vehicles and the hydrogen industry.

“The third area is existential challenges that people face due to the increase in the cost of living. Another priority is to train and skill South Africans. Around 1.2 million get free funding from the state to try to address this issue. The government needs to strengthen existing economies,” he said.

Ramaphosa also said that South Africans must defend our democracy and ensure that it works as “we strengthen the judiciary”.

“The role that South Africa needs to have in global affairs ... This small country is a force to be reckoned with. We gave leadership to the continent regarding Covid-19 during a time when we chaired the African Union. We showed that we can make vaccines on our soil,” Ramaphosa said.

Solly Suleiman, chairperson of the Minara Chamber of Commerce, said that the government must move from a “top-down” approach to a consultative approach.

“We need to create jobs, provide housing and alleviate poverty. Many NGOs presently need support from the government. There has to be a realignment. The private sector is willing to uplift and work with the people.

“There has to be an initiative to address the construction Mafia. The Minara Chamber has been in existence for more than two decades and has a great relationship with the government. We are here for you and hope you are here for us not only now, but post-elections,” Suleiman said.

Shaaz Moosa, from Sultex Holdings Pty (Ltd), said they would like open access to have engagements with the government to deal with business challenges.

Due to the service delivery issues in the country, Moosa said, business has been heavily affected. If all restrictions are removed, then they expect at least a 30% increase in uptake, he said.

WhatsApp your views on this story to 071 485 7995.

Daily News