Brett Hendricks, General Manager of Thebe Tourism Group.
CAPE TOWN - Minister Tito Mboweni's 2019 Budget speech will take place this Wednesday. Below are some pre-Budget comments from three industry sectors.

TOURISM SECTOR

Brett Hendricks, General Manager of Thebe Tourism Group: 

"It was certainly encouraging to note the focus on tourism by Government, as we saw in the recent State of the Nation address. It is clear that Government recognises that tourism is one of the few industry sectors that we can look to for economic growth and for job creation. President Ramaphosa indicated that the country's goal is to bring up to 21 million tourists to the country by 2030.

This is certainly positive for a business such as the Thebe Tourism Group with our focus on establishing the sort of initiatives that are geared to uplift the lives of rural communities and others who have in the past been left out of the mainstream economy.

As we await the National Budget Speech this Wednesday, we hope to see Government taking this focus a step further by allocating more funding to the sector. We appeal to the Government to provide the sort of support mechanisms that new tourism and related hospitality businesses need in order to become sustainable enterprises."

RETAIL SECTOR

Teljoy Chief Financial Officer, Jonathan Hurvitz;

Battered by fuel price hikes during 2018 and an increase in the VAT rate announced in the 2018 National Budget Speech, the retail sector in South Africa is hoping for measures to stimulate the economy and allow for greater consumer spend. Where imported goods are concerned, the instability of our currency is a concern, since this affects the import prices of goods. We look forward to hearing about a focus by Government in this week's National Budget Speech on initiatives geared to provide the sort of economic and political stability that will assist in creating an environment conducive to the strengthening of our currency.

It would also be encouraging if Government were to announce greater spend on extending internet connectivity among the population. The country needs to step up the pace of our adoption of a digital economy to keep us in line with the rest of the world. It is important to allow for more citizens of the country to participate in the digital economy, including through online purchasing of goods; with bigger volumes of online sales comes a potential reduction in prices because of lower costs to suppliers, and this can only be of benefit to consumers."

SERVICES SECTOR

Wynand Smit, CEO, INOVO

“The current economic environment dictates how companies will be honing their business strategies. Of primary importance is to manage the large volumes of consumer debt that exists, so it's essential that those companies examine and optimise their debt collection processes in order to achieve enhanced liquidity. This will ultimately free up consumers to enjoy a healthier financial lifestyle. Massive debt across the board hinders consumers, companies and the entire country from achieving financial well-being.”

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