By Monique Washington

An annual survey of South Africa’s entrepreneurs, business leaders and academics says economic conditions in the country are deteriorating. A new report calls for business leaders to focus on diversifying their growth and employment options.

The latest iteration of the Economic Well-Being Survey, conducted by the Institute of Economic Affairs (EEA) in partnership with Johannesburg-based research outfit, Economic Intelligence Company, re-assesses how the country’s business leaders perceive the economic climate.

According to the survey, 13 per cent of survey respondents reported that they planned to form a new company and 19 per cent planned to engage a joint venture partner in the medium to long term. However, only six per cent planned to export more in the short to medium term.

The survey was released at the EEA development forum in the city yesterday. It highlights new challenges facing South African businesses and corporate titans. “These new challenges confront a new generation of dynamic South African business leaders, who are redefining the way businesses operate and growing the country’s economy,” says Wayne Hellier, Secretary General of the EEA.

The Forum was organised by the EEA, South Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACC), National Economic Council (NEC) and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Economic Growth.

Other trends highlighted in the report include: