Deloitte sponsors discussion on South Africa's economy

05 March 2020 2 min. read
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Deloitte, in partnership with Standard Bank and the Mail & Guardian, has sponsored a panel discussion to examine the state of the South African economy ahead of the most recent budget statement from Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

Participants at the discussion included a wide range of illustrious economic experts, including Managing Director of Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte Martyn Davies. Among others present were personal finance and wealth guru Sanke Mhlongo and Economist Emile du Plessis.

The discussion was held at the Regent Business School (RBS), and sought to address key themes in the South African economy. The country has been struggling recently, held back by factors such as a high rate of unemployment and fluctuating commodity prices, among a range of others.

Deloitte + Standard Bank + Mail & Guardian

Corruption and financial fraud has also been a major theme in South Africa recently, causing inhibitions around investing in the market. All these themes were addressed in the discussion, although experts were in agreement over the fact that the time for complex economic rhetoric was over.

According to Davies, complex and comprehensive economic transformation is not the answer to South Africa’s worries, but the country would be better suited with more rigour and quality in its spending activities. “It’s not about how much we spend, but about the quality of spend,” said Davies.

Du Plessis reiterated that the airy rhetoric usually put forth in budget speeches is no longer the need of the hour for the South African economy, with many demanding more concrete plans for economic growth. “The budget speech is partly vision, partly strategy. What’s important is the strategy,” said du Plessis.

“A good budget includes adequate detail,” he added. Details essentially include factors that might support or hinder government plans. “When we commit to spend, do we have a matching revenue?” said du Plessis, providing examples of the kind of information the average citizen looks for in a budget statement.