Jeremy’s weekly wrap

This week on Moneyweb@Midday we delved into shifts in remote working culture, some worrying stats in the metals and engineering sector, and the state of corruption in SA.

These are just the highlights, so be sure to listen to full episodes on the Moneyweb website or wherever you get your podcasts.

Moneyweb@Midday is live on weekdays at noon and then up as a podcast.

Employment in the metals and engineering sector declined from 500 000 to just over 300 000 in the last couple of years. Tafadzwa Chibanguza, CEO of the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa), unpacked these alarming stats, attributing the figures to low GDP growth, structural export market shifts, and the electricity crisis.

Chibanguza emphasised that the sector is at risk of continued decline without reforms, especially in energy and rail, and addressing local municipality deterioration. While there are some early signals of reform, the private sector is hesitant due to the pace of change required. Despite this, companies are stepping in at the local government level to assist in survival, highlighting the urgency of reforms to prevent further job losses and industry decline.

You can also listen to this podcast on iono.fm here.

Download the free LiSTN audio app on Google PlayApple or here.

Will 2024 signal the end of remote working? Norman Kretzmer, CEO of Contract Understanding, discussed challenges in post-Covid-19 office returns, emphasising the importance of physical presence for maintaining corporate culture. He suggested a hybrid working model and outlined his company’s gradual approach to hybrid work. Kretzmer noted the challenges of remote work, including home workspace issues and interruptions, cautioning against individuals becoming too demanding. He stressed the need for equal opportunities for both in-office and remote workers and highlighted the broader aspects of running a business beyond pure productivity.

You can also listen to this podcast on iono.fm here.

Download the free LiSTN audio app on Google PlayApple or here.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) report indicates a decline in South Africa’s corruption perception. Wayne Duvenage from the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) attributes this decline to a lack of political will, inadequate resourcing, and unchanged corruption levels post the Zondo Commission. Duvenage stresses the need to empower the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and involve civil society in tackling corruption.

South Africa’s categorisation as a flawed democracy raises concerns about global perceptions affecting foreign investment. Duvenage calls for collaborative efforts from business, civil society, and government to address corruption and protect whistleblowers.

You can also listen to this podcast on iono.fm here.

Download the free LiSTN audio app on Google PlayApple or here.

Finally, the 2023 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor South Africa (Gem SA) report indicates a decline in early-stage entrepreneurial activity below pre-pandemic levels. Professor Natanya Meyer attributes this to a spike in pandemic-driven businesses, resulting in higher failure rates. Entrepreneurial intention has dropped due to fear of failure, heightened by challenging business conditions. Despite concerns, a slight improvement in recent data suggests increased positivity. Meyer recommends fostering a robust entrepreneurial culture by addressing financial access, government support, and education and improving various framework conditions for business growth.

You can also listen to this podcast on iono.fm here.

Download the free LiSTN audio app on Google PlayApple or here.

Harry Byrne

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