Publication Date: 11/02/2016

State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2016

Ahead of the 2016 State of the Nation Address (SONA) and forthcoming Budget Speech, the banking industry through The Banking Association South Africa (The Banking Association) and individual bank CEO’s, has been actively engaged in the meetings in the last two weeks between business and the Minister of Finance and the President of the Republic.

We are at a juncture in our country where all sectors of society need to instill confidence in the ability of South African’s to get onto a high road, from the current crisis.

The Banking Association welcomes the outcome of the meeting between business and the President yesterday and endorses and emphasises the critical issues business recommends the President addresses in the 2016 SONA.


The immediate priority for SA is to send a clear message to rating agencies that we will do what is necessary to address issues they have raised, so that we avert a further sovereign downgrade.

According to the Managing Director of The Banking Association, Mr. Cas Coovadia:

“South Africa needs investment, both from local investors and global investors. We have to create an environment to attract such investment, realizing countries are competing with us for investment. The issues put to the President by business are the critical ones to be addressed to enable inclusive growth. I believe we have a vision in the National Development Plan (NDP) and we need to unite under this vision to join together to achieve high rates of sustained inclusive economic growth to address poverty, unemployment and inequality. The banking sector is willing to support government in the delivery of programmes through our continued support and promotion of the National Development Plan (NDP). We are thus encouraged by the positive response from the meeting between business and the President on critical economic, financial, policy, regulatory and governance fundamentals”.

The Banking Association is committed to tapping on the capacity and expertise of its member banks to work in partnership with the Minister of Finance, Presidency and other relevant departments to address critical issues to unlock inclusive growth.

We thus expect SONA 2016 to address the fundamental issues our country, led by government, must deal with to enable partnerships to produce sustained and high rates of inclusive growth.

Some if these fundamental issues are:


  • Government’s programme of action must be feasible to fund within current affordability levels, from within the Budget to be tabled by the Minister of Finance later this month.
  • Judicious management of state resources.
  • Comprehensively reviewing the regulatory impact assessment of burdensome and costly financial sector legislation and regulation, which inhibits, attracting higher levels of domestic and international investment.
  • Support for industrial-led and strategic sectors of the economy e.g. agriculture, energy, SME’s and tourism.
  • Greater private sector participation in some state owned assets in key sectors such as energy and critical infrastructure projects.
  • Funding for industrial-led growth and manufacturing activities.
  • Technical support to municipalities, to assist in the delivery of basic services to advance implementation of Government’s Back-2-Basic programme.
  • Funding of higher education in order to develop the skills needed for the South African economy of the future.

“We also welcome the President’s renewed commitment to continue to engage with the business sector in the spirit of open dialogue and communication. The Banking Association, on behalf of its members, looks forward to working with various Government departments to create an enabling environment for private sector financing and participation in the economy which will thus ensure a turnaround in our ailing economy. We are encouraged by the positive political indicators and policy intent demonstrated by the President yesterday. We look forward to these being carried through into the detailed economic action plans and commitments in the SONA” said Mr Cas Coovadia.


For media enquiries or an interview with the MD please contact

Thenji Nhlapo

Media & Communications Officer

Managing Director’s Office

The Banking Association South Africa

Tel: +27 11 645 6729

Cell: +27 76 791 6918


Note to Editors:

The Banking Association South Africa

The role of The Banking Association is to facilitate the enablement of a conducive banking environment through robust engagement with government and relevant stakeholders. A critical role of The Banking Association is to work with its members to enable this role within the context of the transformation challenges prevailing in South Africa. For more on The Banking Association South Africa visit –