Cablegate: Amcham Business Climate Survey - 2004

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Amcham Business Climate Survey - 2004

Sensitive but Unclassified; Protect Accordingly. Not
For Internet Distribution.

1. (SBU) In the American Chamber of Commerce's
(Amcham) 2004 Business Climate Survey, 62 percent of
companies viewed the business climate as "Excellent"
or "Good," up from 50 percent last year. Three times
more companies have increased confidence in the
government's ability to improve the business
environment, and almost one-half (48 percent) the
companies planned to invest more in the coming year,
up from 41 percent last year. The survey, conducted
in October, covered 65 Amcham member companies
employing over 100,000 South Africans.

2. (SBU) As last year, respondents most frequently
cited "Healthy Economy/Macroeconomics" and "Stable
Government" as favorable factors influencing business
and investment. Companies also cited "Future
Potential of South Africa" as a positive investment
factor. The most frequently cited negative factor
was local equity ownership requirements in BEE
charters (74 percent versus 45 percent last year).
Crime and security was the second most frequently
cited negative factor, but at a slightly lower level
this year (57 percent against 64 percent). Exchange
rate controls and volatility were the third most
frequently cited negative factor, but again by fewer
respondents (32 percent versus 37 last year).

3. (SBU) The Department of Trade and Industry (59
percent positive), the National Treasury (48 percent
positive) and the South African Revenue Service (43
percent positive) received the most favorable ratings
among government departments. The Department of
Health (18 percent positive) again received the
lowest rating. Telkom and Eskom received mixed
ratings suggesting inconsistency of service.

4. (SBU) The full survey will be sent by e-mail to
AF/S, Commerce and USTR. Amcham plans to send the
survey to the South African government on December 13
and issue a press release. FRAZER

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