private-sector aid

Private-sector aid has put R170 million and 350 experts at government’s disposal to help fix it’s biggest logistical and energy problems. Image: File

Government blessed with R170 million in private-sector aid

It’s been a tough week for the economy, but R170 million in private-sector aid for the South African government has plugged a few holes.

private-sector aid

Private-sector aid has put R170 million and 350 experts at government’s disposal to help fix it’s biggest logistical and energy problems. Image: File

Ever-closer ties have allowed private-sector aid of R170 million to flow between business and government, and not the other way around. In a difficult week that started with Stats SA releasing poor GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2023, it became clear that South Africa is effectively in a ‘per-capita recession.’

That’s according to Chief Economist for Citadel Maarten Ackerman, quoted in a Daily Investor report. She said South Africa’s population is growing faster than its economy. Therefore, because South Africa’s GDP increased by just 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2023, but the population grew at 1.5%, that means we’re effectively in a ‘per-capita recession’, confirmed Ackerman.


private-sector aid
South Africans are spending their money wisely, with only 0.6% GDP growth in 2023. Image: File

Nevertheless, there are some positives to end the week on. Firstly, Minister of Public Enterprise Pravin Gordhan has announced his retirement at the end of the current political term (29 May 2024). Secondly, there’s exceedingly positive news about private-sector aid flowing back to the government.

In June 2023, President Cyril Ramaphosa appealed to private businesses to dig deep and assist wherever possible with finances and expertise. This was to address the country’s many problems: Energy, logistics, crime and corruption being top of mind. This week (Tuesday, 5 March), the President announced that the collaboration is yielding tangible results.


cyril ramaphosa
President Ramaphosa has applauded the partnership between private businesses and the government. Image: X/@PresidencyZA

Now, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and co-convener Discovery Limited CEO Adrian Gore have announced R170 million in private-sector aid and 350 technical experts were mobilised to assist the government in the last nine months. The Resource Mobilisation Fund was initially established by private businesses to help solve the country’s electricity crisis, but its remit is growing.

Next on the private sector’s hitlist is the logistics crisis hampering an already curtailed economy. BUSA is looking to scale up this funding model to support the government where possible. Together, the partnership hopes to boost South Africa’s economic growth rate by as much as 6% by fixing the country’s collapsing ports and rail network.

“We need to capitalise on this momentum and urgently implement the necessary reforms to improve societal and investor confidence in South Africa and grow the economy inclusively,” concluded Gore.

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What do you think of private-sector aid for the government through initiatives like these? Is this not what government should be doing for business instead? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates.