South African CEO business confidence back to pre-pandemic levels, KPMG survey says

Aggressive M&A plans underway to capture market opportunities


SOUTH AFRICA, 05 October, 2021 — CEOs of the world’s largest businesses are increasingly optimistic about the outlook for their own business and despite the Delta variant slowing down the ‘return to normal’, their confidence in both the global and local economy has returned to levels not seen since the start of the pandemic. KPMG South Africa’s 2021 CEO Outlook, in partnership with Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), is an extension of the 2021 Global survey and draws on the perspectives of 50 CEOs across 10 industries. Reflecting on their strategies and outlook over a 3-year horizon, it highlighted that 70% of leaders are confident about the local economy's growth prospects over the next 3 years.


Higher economic growth will only be achieved however, if a specific growth mandate is pursued. The local economy is forecast as modest to 2% in 2022 and with the prospect of a stronger global economy, CEOs are looking to invest in expansion and business transformation. In fact, the survey reveals that 62% of senior executives are identifying inorganic methods (e.g. joint ventures, M&As and strategic alliances) as their organisation’s main strategy to support their growth. A majority (88%) of local leaders stated that they expect aggressive growth and are looking to make acquisitions in the next 3 years to facilitate this and transform their businesses, closely aligned to the global average of 87%.