94% of South African CEOs expect growth from rest of Africa

The vast majority of South African CEOs questioned in a recent survey anticipate their business in the rest of the continent to expand over the next year.

A CEO survey published by PwC found that 94% of South African company heads expect their business in Africa to grow in the next 12 months.

PwC interviewed 32 South African CEOs in the ICT, financial services, and consumer and industrial products and services industries.

Other interesting insights that emerged from the survey include:

  • 53% of CEOs said they are worried about energy costs in South Africa, down from 70% in the previous year. In February 2010 the country’s National Energy Regulator announced tariff increases of 24.8%, 25.8% and 25.4% over the next three years. According to PwC, many electricity users might have already grown accustomed to higher electricity prices.
  • 31% are concerned about their companies’ ability to finance growth. “This figure echoes the views of CEOs globally and is similar to the level recorded in our last report – despite the fact that we now have the lowest interest rates in 37 years and there has been a modest reduction in lending criteria by local banks over the past 12 months,” says PwC.
  • Regarding changes in consumer spending and behaviour, 28% of CEOs are somewhat concerned about changing consumer patterns, compared to just less than 50% in both emerging and developed markets.
  • CEOs also seem to be aware of the growing prominence of mobile phones and social media platforms among consumers. Of respondents for whom consumers represent more than 33% of revenues, 94% said they are adjusting their strategies to accommodate consumers’ increasing use of mobile devices and social media to voice their needs and preferences to companies.