Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business
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MARKET SUPPORTS NENE'S TOUGH TALK
Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene announced tough measures including tax increases, job freezes and across-the-board budget cuts to deal with low economic growth, high debt levels and lower than expected tax income. The sale of nonstrategic state assets as well as a new funding model for state-owned enterprises (SOEs) returned to the agenda for the first time in many years. Nene - announcing the policy shift in the medium-term budget policy statement tabled in parliament yesterday - said it was "a road map to safeguard the public finances". Two years of fiscal consolidation were needed to put public finances on a more sustainable footing, he said.
The minister’s bold and disciplined approach was greeted favourably by the bond market, with the benchmark R186 strengthening by 15 basis points on the day. Lower-than-expected inflation figures contributed significantly. Plans to cut back on expenditure growth and its new tax measures - to be announced in the budget in February - are expected to generate ZAR52 billion over the next two years. National government personnel budgets will be frozen, funding of vacancies reviewed, and the spending on non-essential goods and services such as travel, accommodation, entertainment and consultants slashed, saving about ZAR1.3 billion in the next two years.
The government is emphatic, however, that service delivery on education, health and social protection will not suffer and that its infrastructure investment drive will remain fully on track. These measures will allow the government to meet its budget deficit targets set in February and stabilise government debt, which the Treasury says is fast approaching unsustainable levels. But several risks remain, such as slow economic growth, the public sector wage bill and the worsening finances of state-owned companies.
For a summary of the key points in mini-budget click here.
The PCB is to publish its very own quarterly glossy business magazine.
Capital will promote the greater Pietermaritzburg and KwaZulu-Natal Midlands area through a focus on enterprise. People, and the myriad ways in which they make money and succeed, are what drive an economy and shape the future. Their stories - often inspiring and frequently surprising - are the stories that Capital will tell.
Capital will speak to both a local audience and to a wider national and international readership. It will achieve this through the focused distribution of a quarterly, A4-sized glossy magazine enhanced by a multimedia edition that drives reader interaction beyond what is possible with print. Complete with video, audio, photo galleries, research polls and clickable adverts, this innovative digital version, along with the print issue, will be distributed far and wide via other chambers of business, government departments, consulates, airports and subscriptions.
The first edition will be launched in November 2014; don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this exciting, innovative new publication. Should you wish to be part of this publication please contact: Heidi Jadoo on 033 345 2747 or email@example.com. The booking form is attached and adverts will be accommodated on a first come, first serve basis.
BPO LEGISLATIVE REPORT
Inside this week’s Legislative Report for Business:
1. SMME SUPPORT - Minister to present new policy to Parliament
2. MINERAL AND PETROLEUM RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT A/BILL - May be heading back to Parliament
3. FISCAL SCRUTINY - MPs review department budgets as Finance Minister gets ready to present mini-budget
4. All Bills at Parliament - Status Report
The Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) was constituted in August 2002 following unity negotiations among three former business organisations – the Pietermaritzburgse Sakekamer, the Midlands Black Business Chamber and the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Commerce and Industries. In forming a new chamber of commerce and industry, the unifying bodies agreed to forego their independent identities. Following the unification, the PCB was afforded the recognition of the local and provincial governments as the representative of the business community in Pietermaritzburg.