The current violence in parts of Tshwane cannot be good for South Africa’s image, especially in these crucial six months before the ratings agencies announce their next review of the country, Dr Ernest Messina, CEO of business chamber AHi, told Fin24 on Tuesday.
“The current violence cannot be good for the business community or the general morale of individuals and the community at large,” he said. “What the result of the violence will be, is a million dollar question. We must remember how the outside world will view SA because of the violence.”
He said there are of course different sides to every issue, but from the business perspective – irrespective of what the issues are, and what the respective political parties decide in terms of their candidates – any form of violence cannot be condoned as it is detrimental to society and not only for business.
“Remember, the business of business is more than just business. So, we do not look at what has happened in communities and within society at large only from a business perspective. Many of these issues have a direct or indirect impact not only on business, but on society as a whole,” cautioned Messina.
Pic: Karabo Ngoepe, News24
Piet du Toit, CEO of the Tshwane Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Fin24 that what is happening is worrisome, and has a major impact on some businesses.
“If people are unhappy, they should protest in a peaceful manner. The violence and arson are unnecessary. Businesses should monitor the situation carefully and obtain feedback from the police,” said Du Toit.
“They should not put themselves or their employees at risk. The other problem, of course, is that many employees are being prevented from getting to work, which also has a negative impact on business.”
Messina added that violence does not help to create sustainable prosperity.
“We are saying that if there are any businesses which have to close their doors due to the violence, it means profitability is threatened. That brings uncertainty also for employees,” said Messina.
He said that in the final analysis, the protection of individuals and their lives is far more important than anything else.