There is little doubt that the recent cabinet reshuffle and credit rating downgrade announcement has brought a lot of concern for many South Africans, the far-reaching effects of which will be felt by the economy and society at large for some time. It is important that all leaders in government, business, organised labour and civil society, who have the interest of our country and all its citizens at heart, stand together to ensure that South Africa is on the right path to achieve a stable and sustainable political, social and economic environment for all South Africans.
We have attended the first two sessions held on “Transformation of the Financial Sector” in Parliament on 14 and 22 March 2017, in the form of public hearings arranged by the Standing Committee on Finance and the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry. It has become clear at these sessions that transformation of the financial sector remains, and will continue to remain a key priority. A third public hearing is planned for 3 May, and we encourage our members to attend to get firsthand knowledge of the perceptions and issues being raised by various role players. On 3 May, amongst others, the South African Auto Repairer and Salvage Association (SAARSA), the Retail Auto Aftermarket Federation (RAAF), and the South African Builders Contractors and Civils Association (SABCCA) will present, and we are again expecting an uncomfortable conversation.
As the short-term insurance industry body, we remain committed to finding solutions that will enable sustainable and inclusive economic growth. This is why the SAIA Board has dedicated an ad hoc SAIA Board meeting on 23 February 2017, and most of the SAIA Board meeting and Board Strategy Session on 28 March 2017 to the important topic of the industry’s contribution to sustainable economic transformation.
We are also continuing with our high priority projects that speak to the priority areas identified by the SAIA Board as areas in which our industry is uniquely placed to make a meaningful difference, including the Motor Transformation and Sustainability Forum, and its equivalent in the non-motor environment, which seek to address the role we can (and should) play as an industry with regards to supporting medium and small black owned businesses with the goal to contribute to job creation and a more inclusive economy through both procurement and enterprise development.
We are excited to be hosting our inaugural SAIA Indaba on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, at the FNB Conference Centre in Sandton. This event will provide a platform to have an open dialogue with key stakeholders, including government representation headed by the Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe. Key on the agenda will be the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) in relation to economic transformation and how our industry is supporting this. We urge you not to miss out on this important industry event.
Finally, as we approach the Easter holidays, we encourage everyone to keep safe and to ensure the safety of others, while enjoying the last days of summer.