Dell GM sees silver lining for SA
The tide is turning for SA and 2020 will present better prospects for the country, says Doug Woolley, GM of Dell Technologies SA.
Woolley is optimistic that SA will turn the corner this year and believes that although SA’s growth has eased, it remains robust.
The consensus among key players is that SA’s economic growth in 2020 will be lower than that of other African countries, constrained by persistent power cuts. The government, financial institutions and credit rating agencies expect SA’s economic growth to be lower than 1.5%.
The National Treasury projected the economy will grow by 1.2% in 2020.
“We do have significant challenges as well. It’s effortless to see where South Africa falls short. We could point to slowing GDP growth or expanding unemployment. Problems are easier to spot than solutions. But there are solutions on the ground, and they are part of a greater positive trend.
“There have been big changes in attitudes and actions towards SA’s problems. I won’t sugar-coat our reality. But, just as someone preparing for a long marathon, the signs of progress don’t only count in the final event. They are significant because of the hard work, focus and determination that went in beforehand,” says Woolley.
According to Woolley, with president Cyril Ramaphosa at the helm, things are looking up for the economy: “President Cyril Ramaphosa’s investment drive secured R363 billion in 2019, 17% more than from 2018 and a total of R663 billion since he took office in October 2018. These are commitments from both local and foreign investors.
“In November, the state launched BizPortal, an online and integrated portal for inexpensive and quick business registrations. This service is not a small development: the complicated process of registering a business in South Africa has long been an issue and barrier to economic growth. This administration turned that around in a year.”
Further, Woolley notes: “The hi-tech Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone broke ground in November. This enormous smart city development will massively increase our automotive industry’s revenue and employment. The president’s 4IR commission has already delivered its first report, and there is credible momentum behind assigning much-needed spectrum for digital connectivity.”
He concludes: “South Africa is delivering its own small steps. There is more decisive action and visible movement. We are a strong country that has been to the brink many times and taken blows that would have sunk other nations. Yet, we still stand and, in 2020, I believe South Africa will become even stronger.”