The Democratic Alliance is greatly concerned by the latest Business Confidence Index (BCI), released today by the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci), which has dropped to pre-democracy lows.
The annual average for the BCI fell to 86.4 index points for 2015, the lowest since the average of 81.3 index points in 1993, causing the Rand to breach the R16 to the US Dollar mark. This will place upward pressure on food prices and hurt South Africans who are already struggling to make ends meet.
The decline was driven inter alia by the turmoil surrounding President Zuma’s reckless and irrational dismissal of Nhlanhla Nene as the Finance Minister in late last year. The monthly index for December 2015 dropped to its lowest level for the year at 79.6 index points – almost 9 points lower than for December 2014.
The DA today has launched a jobs campaign to highlight how unemployment has increased under President Zuma’s leadership, from 31.7% when he assumed office to 34.4% for the third quarter of 2015. There are currently 8.4 million South Africans without a job – and that isn’t likely to change without bold leadership on the economy.
Zuma’s ANC has failed to inspire confidence in the economy with the BCI declining steadily over the past 7 years. Without allowing employers the freedom to grow, employment for the 8.4 million South Africans living without a job will remain a pipe-dream.