2020 was rough and, it’s likely that, 2021 will be even more challenging for many. As COVID-19 continues to impact businesses, and government support schemes change and in some cases – such as the UIF-TERS – come to an end, businesses will continue to feel pressure.
Anyone who’s met Zahra and I knows that we’re extremely “glass half full” people, which comes from our personal experience of years of business challenges at our father’s business (Hoxies) – a 3rd generation multi-million-rand turnover institution. Zahra and I became involved in that business toward the decline phase and lived and worked through its distress to business rescue and eventual voluntary liquidation in 2012.
This resulted in a loss of our identities and financial stability and we needed hope. 2020 has been reminiscent of those last few years at Hoxies and there were moments where we found ourselves feeling a similar sense of uncertainty and fear. In those days, we looked for new opportunities and found hope which pushed us forward and this year we celebrated 10 years in business.
So, in closing off the year and knowing that many of the business owners we’ve interacted with need a good (and real) dose of hope, I’ve prepared my views on where the hope lies. We believe it’s real and we’re seeing it.
- The COVID Economy – the pandemic has resulted in the emergence of an entirely new economy, from the advent of a vaccine and other treatments to preventative technologies and even work from home furniture and technology.
- The Investment Conference 2020 – this has attracted R109billion in investment commitments from industries ranging from ICT to agro-processing, metals & fabrication, tourism and the financial sector.
- A push for localisation and regionalisation – is promoting an increase in infrastructure and investment that should promote positive stimulation of the economy
- The Infrastructure Office at the Presidency – has identified R650billion worth of infrastructure projects in the Human Settlements, Agriculture, Transport & Storage, Communication, Electricity & Gas and Water sectors and has established the Infrastructure Fund allocating R100billion over the next 10years.
- The Automotive Sector – the 204ha, R3.4billion Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone was announced and 12 suppliers have already committed R4.3billion in investments.
Whilst the immediate future seems, to many, better than the recent past, it’s still going to be a rough ride. But, as leaders and business owners, we need to look for green shoots and have hope that future holds new opportunities – and I hope this provides you with some over this festive season.