Publication Date: 12/02/2016


Response to the 2016

State of the Nation Address (SONA)

The Banking Association South Africa (The Banking Association) welcomes the 2016 SONA, as the first, in a few years that has critically reflected on how to achieve economic growth in order to address the socio-economic challenges facing our country.

“This SONA has clearly identified the economy, and sustained inclusive economic growth, as the number one priority for our country. The SONA also emphasised the National Development Plan (NDP) as the vision for the country and to address the fundamental issues government must deal with to create the environment for inclusive growth. We look forward to the Minister of Finance giving details of implementation on these fundamental issues in his Budget Speech on 24 February 2016.” says Cas Coovadia, Managing Director.

The Banking Association is also pleased that the engagement between business, the President and Minister of Finance in the last two weeks has informed Government’s programme of action.

We support a number of the fundamental issues highlighted by the President and which Government must address in order to promote sustained inclusive growth at high levels:

  • ExpenditureThe commitment to reducing wasteful expenditure in government and managing the fiscus, including that a nuclear energy programme will be considered only at the scale and pace at which the fiscus can afford it.
  • State Owned Enterprises (SOEs)Recognising weaknesses in SOE’s and committing the Deputy President to implement the findings of the Presidential Commission on SOE’s.We are committed to work with the Deputy-President to mobilise skilled people for board positions, so that strong business-minded boards, can appoint appropriately skilled management teams. We also welcome the reference to tight mandates for SOE’s and phasing out those that are no longer relevant.
  • Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)
  • Legislation and Regulation

We look forward to working with government and stakeholders to promote the growth of SME’s and with labour to ensure a labour regulatory regime that protects minimum worker rights and grows the economy.

  • Black IndustrialistsWe are fully supportive to achieving economic transformation and black economic empowerment through the Black Industrialists Programme,. But we urge that Black Economic Empowerment be implemented to concentrate on broad-based empowerment.
  • Job Creation, Unemployment and Skills Development

The Banking Association notes Government’s support for a national minimum wage and the President’s indication that minimum wages must be pegged at levels that do not undermine job creation. We agree with this approach.

In conclusion

We will continue to urge government to address issues not covered in the SONA, but believe that this SONA has created a sufficient platform through which government and business can work to concretise the recent engagements to deliver a growing economy. We urge labour organisations to join us in this national effort.

The inclusion in the SONA of the Centre of Excellence for Financial Services and Leadership Training to be established by banks through The Banking Association must therefore be seen as an example of such collaboration. We believe this must be seen within the context of South Africa being the Financial Centre for Africa and we will start the development work to establish this centre.

The President emphasised that as a country, working together, we can address local conditions impeding economic growth. The Banking Association supports and encourages this approach.


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