The retail sector will be listening attentively to the president’s address this evening, after a dismal performance in December, its most important month. Courtesy #DStv403
Editor's note: eNCA (DStv 403) and eNCA.com will bring you live coverage of the 2019 State of the Nation Address
JOHANNESBURG - The retail sector will be listening attentively to the president's State of the Nation Address on Thursday evening, after a dismal performance in December, its most important month.
Massmart chairman Kuseni Dlamini says the retail sector is a key barometer of how the economy's performing.
Dlamini said the government should prioritise the sector.
While retail sales numbers improved in April, there has been a general slowing in the sector.
He says this needs to be tackled to help turn the country's economic fortunes around.
"Retails fortunes are inextricably intertwined with the fortunes of the economy,” Dlamini said.
“It's actually an exaggerated barometer of overall economic activity in the country. To the extent that the economy grows, you'll see retail sales going up. To the extent that people are employed, consumer confidence gets boosted, and you'll see that being reflected in sales.
“The slowdown in retail sales is a reflection of the slowdown in economic growth, the rise in unemployment, the lack of consumer confidence. So we'll be looking at measures that will assist the economy to grow on a sustained basis in the medium to long term.
“Measures that are going to improve the labour intensity of our economy. We need more people to be employed so that they can have disposable income, in particular, to be able to spend in our shops."