At the heart of this statement lies a belief in ‘Enterprise’ as a core lever for South Africa’s growth, and recognition that in this sense it has both ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’. A South Africa that is good for enterprise is one which enables a fair balance between the investment and extraction of value in the long term, where markets function effectively, and social and economic conditions that create stability and provide a platform for commercial enterprise to thrive.
Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) pursues an agenda in the interest of all business and our idea of ‘Enterprise’ bridges privately-owned, state-owned and foreign-owned firms. All have their role to play in building South Africa by creating value for society.
The benefit to South Africa of the core ‘business of business’ – providing ever better products at keen prices, and generating jobs, tax revenues and savings – is continually demonstrated. But over and above economic measures, BLSA members support the mantra that basic ethical positions are non-negotiable and that members should comply with the law in all its forms. A next level of commitment is for members of BLSA to live by the BBBEE scorecard in a way that gives weight to substance over form that acknowledges the role of business as a positive force for society.
Our policy advocacy is aimed at a single goal: to reduce the costs and risks of doing business in South Africa. BLSA will continuously take the opportunity to engage in policy formulation on a broad range of topics largely set by government. These topics change from time to time so BLSA plays a more proactive, shaping advocacy role, by spotting future trends and issues affecting enterprise, and creating a space for stakeholders, including but not limited to government, to engage in dialogue to find solutions ‘to problems we are jointly trying to solve’.
BLSA is an association of South Africa’s largest corporations and major multinational companies with a significant presence in South Africa. They are represented on Business Leadership’s Council and Board at the level of Chief Executive Officer or Chairman. Members are committed to the national goals of addressing the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
On 25 November 2005, the South Africa Foundation changed its name and brand to BLSA. The Foundation, founded in 1959, has a rich history of contributing and showing business’ commitment to South Africa.