Pres Ramaphosa’s announcement that four special ambassadors – including well respected Trevor Manuel – are to roam the globe in an aggressive pursuit of foreign investment “… like a pack of lions”, appears to be premature. It would have helped these ambassadors if they could have had a better story to tell than one of a business environment with stagnating profitability and growing losses where:
- only 25% of firms have earned sufficient to be liable for company tax;
- firms with a taxable income below R10 million decline at a rate of 31 per week;
- a mere 635 companies are responsible for 77% of company tax;
- from 2009 to 2015 company losses as submitted to SARS increased by 85% and for the last two years were higher than the taxable income assessed.