MESSAGE FROM THE CONVENOR: Sasha Müller
Message from the Convenor:
Newsletter – 2nd letter February 2021
At the start of the Parliamentary year, our attention is focused on two significant speeches – The State of the Nation Address (SONA), which, among other things, sets the path and direction for the year ahead, followed shortly thereafter by the National Budget speech.
In the State of the Nation Address SONA) delivered by President Ramaphosa on 11 February this year, the President said:
“The year ahead must be a time for change, progress and for rebirth
…….. focus(ing) this evening on the foremost, overriding priorities of 2021.
First, we must defeat the coronavirus pandemic.
Second, we must accelerate our economic recovery.
Third, we must implement economic reforms to create sustainable jobs and drive inclusive growth.
And finally, we must fight corruption and strengthen the state”.
The SONA and the National Budget are inextricably linked and companion to each other, providing together the “What” and the “How”
The Budget speech as we know was delivered on 24 February and it provided the financial framework for the delivery of the work of government for the year ahead. It is a crucial component of government work and programmes and provides the practical parameters of and allocations within which Government seeks to provide and underpin its commitment to the South Africa people.
For its part, the Progressive Business Forum hosted a virtual event for its subscribers on the following day, 25 February, to hear from Deputy Finance Minister Dr David Masondo about the Budget.
The engagement was of particular relevance given that it was held a little less than 24 hours after the speech itself was delivered in Parliament. The event was unquestionably of much value, imparting as it did, a greater understanding of the support of economic recovery contained in the Budget. From the raft of questions which followed, it was clear that engagement around the Budget will become an annual highlight on the PBF events calendar.
Taking our cue from the reference made by the President in the SONA, to the resilience of the fynbos, the PBF will continue with its programmes in the months ahead that are designed to encourage and promote further engagement around practicalities of economic recovery.
Included on the programme for the coming months, are engagements on the Ocean’s economy and on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The potential that each of these hold for South Africa’s economy are clearly significant. The PBF looks forward to hosting these events and promoting greater interest and participation in these and other fields.