Tanya Cohen, CEO of Business Unity SA. Picture: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE
Tanya Cohen, CEO of Business Unity SA. Picture: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE

The CEO Initiative, which was established to help set SA on a growth course, has made major inroads in setting up an SME Fund and is in the process of accrediting fund managers.

The project was started by former finance minister Pravin Gordhan to retain the country’s sovereign credit ratings.

One of the commitments that came out of it was the founding of a R1.5bn SME Fund.

Business Unity SA (Busa) CEO Tanya Cohen said progress had been made in setting up the SME Fund. The CEO Initiative was dealing with the accreditation of fund managers and was almost ready to start investing.

The downgrade committee, one of five workstreams under the CEO Initiative, was also making headway, said Cohen.

Martin Kingston, a member of the CEO Initiative, said: "We have got the fund off the ground and identified opportunities in the pipeline. There is a willingness and ability on the part of the CEO Initiative. We’re carrying on and we’re engaging the minister [Malusi Gigaba] and other social partners. We’ve found the minister attentive and committed to reform."

Kingston also said a lot of the CEO Initiative’s engagement with Gigaba had focused on executing the 14-point plan the minister announced in July.

The CEO Initiative and other stakeholders would pay close attention to the medium-term budget policy statement on Wednesday, said Kingston.

CEO Initiative convener Jabu Mabuza said the project was making progress in all of its workstreams.

They had been working with the finance minister and the National Treasury to engage with the ratings agencies. Reports on the various workstreams would follow soon.