Durban - Premier Senzo Mchunu yesterday called on businesses in KwaZulu-Natal to recognise that their role was becoming much more important in the province and the country.
“That means you are being called upon to be much more active and look broader in the context you conduct your business,” Mchunu told a panel discussion in Durban.
“You are called upon to cross over to other provinces, to the continent and to the globe as a whole,” he said.
He made the comments during a business breakfast organised by the provincial government, Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The business breakfast was aimed at tackling the question: “where to from here for business?” in response to the State of the Nation Address (Sona), national budget speech and state of the province address (Sopa).
Mchunu also said business should do much more to interact with politicians in government at all levels.
“We have opportunities to grow our economy. Let’s talk among ourselves and articulate the interests of the people you represent,” he said.
Zeph Ndlovu, president of Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Sona had reminded the chamber about the heart of a resilient and fast-growing economy that was based on the national development plan and its nine-point plan, which found expression in job creation, workers earning wages, and the business making profit.
“The government’s mandate is firmly anchored in delivering on its promises in terms of services out there. They have to collect taxes quite consistently, effectively and reliably,” Ndlovu said.
Referring to the economic situation, he said: “If we are to turn this ship around, we will require everybody’s hand on the deck... We have to actually take the leap of faith to do that.”
He said there was a need for coalition of the stakeholders.
Dumile Cele, chief executive of the Durban Chamber of Business and Industry, said they were running a database of service providers not paid by departments after it met with Treasury’s head of department.
She said those not paid should also approach the chamber so that their plight could be taken up.
“There is a concerted effort from the leadership to ensure small businesses are not crippled to do business with government. Please feel free to contact us,” Cele said.