From the CEO

It seems unbelievable that we have already entered the final stretch of the year

From the CEO

When I reflect on the months that are behind us and the few that remain of this year, I am reminded of Nelson Mandela’s age-old saying, ‘it always seems impossible until it is done’. At the JSE we often remind ourselves that everything has a solution and nothing is ever out of our reach. It is the kind of thinking that has seen us achieve major milestones in support of SA’s capital markets.

A momentous milestone that we recently marked is the launch of the JSE voluntary carbon market in collaboration with Xpansiv, an infrastructure provider for global environmental markets. Through this initiative we aim to advance SA’s carbon credit capabilities by enabling local participants to buy or sell carbon credits and renewable energy certificates that are held in either local or global registries. The voluntary carbon market is not only an opportunity to bring an innovative solution to our market, but it also helps position SA as a significant contributor to decarbonisation.

Last month, we announced an exciting joint venture with big xyt to launch a new company, big xyt ecosystems. It will deliver an innovative data analytics solution to global stock exchanges and their ecosystems, a global first. This is an initiative that further entrenches us as a centre of innovation for financial markets, here in Africa and beyond.

We also successfully launched a multi-year SME development programme in collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism. Access to capital remains one of the top three challenges for SMEs in SA, and the first year (2023) of the programme will focus on a capital matching initiative where SMEs will be introduced to capital providers who are interested in funding SME businesses in their growth phases. During the initial three-year phase, 100 companies from five priority sectors will be matched with investors. Public-private partnerships such as these are vital enablers for potential growth nodes in the economy.

In August, SA hosted the watershed BRICS XV conference in Johannesburg, which saw the original five-member bloc grow to 11 with the admission of six new countries from January 2024. There is an incredible opportunity to strengthen trade and investment in Africa as a whole. Collaboration is central to unlocking Africa’s potential, and as members of the African Exchanges Linkage Project, led by the African Securities Exchanges Association and the AfDB, we have a clear role in achieving this objective. Seven exchanges have joined in Phase 1, with Phase 2 aiming to more than double this to 15 exchanges, which will represent 90% of the continent’s market capitalisation and access to more than 1 500 securities.

August was also Women’s Month in SA, commemorating the courage of the women who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956. During that month, we hosted #SheInvests, our flagship initiative to financially empower women, foster financial literacy and give them and the generations that follow the tools to become financially independent. As a female-led, empowered and progressive organisation, it is a programme that we established to try to change our world for the better; from sustainable investing to developing the economy and shattering glass ceilings.

We were once again called on to take up the reigns of convenor when we co-hosted the South African Transmission Financing seminar with the Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. The forum served as a platform for experts and stakeholders from the energy and financial sectors to share insights on the financing and development of SA’s electricity transmission infrastructure for sustainable energy security in SA.

With so much already under our belts, I am excited for what is still to come in the final few months. With each of these milestones, we are moving markets forward for our clients, investors and partners. As we look forward to the end of the year, I wish you a well-deserved break and, to all of you who celebrate at this time, I wish you a blessed festive season.

Dr Leila Fourie
Group Chief Executive Officer