Why South Africa is not on a path of economic renewal

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Why South Africa is not on a path of economic renewal

South Africa is on a path of economic renewal

Written by Cyril Ramaphosa, President, South Africa – 24 Jan 2019

This article is part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

This year, South Africa will celebrate 25 years of democracy, hold its sixth democratic national election and accelerate the process of economic revival and growth.

Over the last quarter century, the country has made remarkable progress in expanding opportunities for its people, most of whom still live with the effects of the apartheid system. Millions of poor South Africans have been provided with houses, social support, electricity and water. The black middle-class has grown significantly and access to healthcare and education have been expanded.

However, over the last decade, growth has been slow, progress in several areas has stalled and corruption has undermined key public institutions and state-owned enterprises. More South Africans are employed than ever before, yet our levels of inequality remain amongst the highest in the world.

In the last year, we have taken firm measures to correct this. As a result, the country is now emerging from a period of economic stagnation and political uncertainty and has entered a new era of renewal in support of our growth ambitions.

We have a firm foundation on which to build. South Africa’s high level of industrialisation, our position as a key manufacturing hub and services destination on the African continent, our strong financial sector are key drawcards for investors.

Furthermore, we are one of the most technologically resourced countries in Africa. We consistently rank highly in terms of internet bandwidth capacity and broadband penetration and have some of the highest mobile phone subscription rates on the continent.

Whether it is in mining, manufacturing, agriculture, clothing and textiles, services, tourism or the ocean economy, South Africa’s economy is as diverse as it is sophisticated. It is our ambition to diversify our export basket further and move towards higher productivity and enhanced global competitiveness.

We are aware of the critical policy missteps that led our economy to flounder and the effect that corruption and political patronage has had on public confidence.

But the political and economic landscape of South Africa has vastly improved. A year ago I laid out ambitious plans to turn our economy around, restore business confidence, deal decisively with corruption, and get our people working again.

We have registered significant gains. As part of an ambitious drive to raise $100 billion in new investment in five years, I appointed four investment envoys and assembled a specialised team to mobilise and facilitate investment. Just a few months into this journey, commitments of more than $6 billion show investors have confidence in the range of reform measures we have put in place.

Government is working with the local and international business community, labour, civil society and other stakeholders to drive our economic recovery. These social partners have also agreed on a range of actions to create new jobs and protect existing ones.

We promised to restore good governance, deal with corruption and restore faith in our public institutions. Commissions of inquiry have been established to investigate the capture of government institutions and key state-owned entities by private interests. We have appointed new boards and executives to these entities and begun steering their recovery in earnest.

Efforts to introduce a new era of accountability are taking hold. The state revenue service, a vital cog in the economy, is being stabilised. Confidence in the criminal justice system is also being restored through the appointment of new leadership teams.

We have made important headway in addressing policy uncertainty and inconsistency. Through consultation with all stakeholders, we have revised the country’s mining policy, balancing the need for growth with the need for transformation of the industry. After years of delay, a plan outlining our country’s energy mix until 2050 is finally on the table.

We have begun a process to pave the way for faster and more sustainable land reform – vital to provide policy certainty and predictability and to support the stable growth of our economy. This ongoing dialogue between different sectors of our society has the potential to forge a comprehensive, sustainable solution to an issue that has divided our nation for centuries.

We are committed to pursuing these economic and political reforms necessary to restore the confidence of our citizens as well as domestic and international investors.

As political turmoil plagues the globe, South Africa once again stands out as a beacon of hope and co-operation in a new world order. All nations’ economic destinies remain intertwined and as a bridge between the developing and developed world, South Africa offers a rejuvenated vision for a future of shared prosperity.

Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/south-africa-continues-on-a-path-of-economic-renewal

Why South Africa is not on a path of economic renewal

This seemingly good message of hope displayed above, must be re-evaluated by comparing it to the reality in 2020/21. It will be almost impossible to rectify the huge scale of incompetency build-up throughout all Government entities and levels. It will need a “Superman” or a few of them, not even to speak of the huge build-up to a culture of corruption!

So far, no senior head has yet rolled and that has nothing to do with the previous dispensation before 1994.

Nothing happened in the past 25 years to make one proud of any significant achievements (only all-round, big scale failures), except for the Bokke, Bokkie achievements in Rugby. However we must always keep up the hope and see how ANC achievements will pan out in the near future.

  • What are the scholastic requirements to become a member of the ANC National Executive Committee?
  • What are the scholastic requirements to become a President of South Africa?
  • What are the scholastic requirements to become a Minister in Parliament?
  • What are the scholastic requirements to become a Provincial Prime Minister and Department Director?
  • What are the scholastic requirements to become a Municipal Councillor?
  • What are the scholastic requirements to become a Chief Executive and Board Members of a State Owned organisation?
  • If the answer to any of the questions above is “none”, can someone clarify on what basis they are selected?
  • Can someone explain how a President can effectively lead a country with no authoritative power over the selection of Provincial Government Members, Local Government Members and State Owned Enterprise Board Members?

The rainbow nation cartoon image

The merry-go-round circus cartoon image

What has become of the so-called ANC Freedom Struggle? Unemployment is now the highest since the Great Depression in the previous century, while more than 29 000 civil servants have become millionaires in just a few years!

It recently came to light that the National Department of Water Affairs has no knowledge of the existence of two big water reservoirs in the nearby vicinity of communities struggling for years on end without any potable water. How will you rate the performance and competency of that department and its parliamentary oversight committee?

The high level of incompetency build-up over years in the Public Sector of South Africa, resulted in everything remaining in a status of challenges and failures instead of solutions.

4 April 2020: E-News reported this morning that 87 000 cases of violence against women and children were lodged at police stations during the first 7 days of the corona virus shutdown in South Africa; on average 12 428 per day! What message does it convey about culture and upbringing values?

It is high time that the rampage caused by individuals and groups are not only a one way street. It is not a one way street for hooligans only! It is a two way street when police and soldiers are used to enforce regulations. It is high time that police and soldiers get respect from the masses and politicians. Firmer political leadership is necessary!

Hooligan behaviour will remain criminal, no matter the supposed cause.

There are just too many uneducated, incompetent and overpaid Government office bearers, who keep on relying and being strangled on the excuse of using the word “Challenge” for failures and non-compliance to render a quality service to the population.

Many schools still do not have potable drinking water, toilets and sanitation. After 25 years of rule it is scandalous!

The legacy, which the ANC brought to South Africa, will in future be remembered as massive incompetency, corruption and failure.

The time might be right for the formation of a new Political Party.

The ANC is clinging to State Owned Enterprises. Why? Is it exclusively to fund their political campaigns? What is the accumulated damage to the South African economy and the detriment to normal citizens? These organisations may also be used to score on Government purchase tenders. Is this type of conducting business not synonymous with entrenched corruption? What portion of income is being stolen by officials and what portion reaches the political campaign coffers? Why are the financial results for State Owned Enterprises not available for public scrutiny? There are more than 200 of them! Comparative remuneration studies have shown that Board Members of State Owned Enterprises are paid exorbitant fees, way beyond the private sector! What value are they giving back with their work efforts?

There are too many high paying government jobs, with too little task responsibilities for each job, taxing the business sector into paralysis and job losses.

The Constitution of South Africa is totally flawed, if it can allow a selection process of politicians, who do not need any competencies, qualifications nor any scholastic requirements.  The present rules of selection can forever end up in “Palookas” governing the country into oblivion!

Meaning of Palooka: Someone incompetent or untalented in the specified area.

Will it not be helpful if voters also need a minimum qualification of say Grade 10? It will be the first in the world!

Self-enrichment is the one and only real and true ideal in ANC political party membership. It all comes down to self-enrichment to the detriment of the rest of the population. If one is not one of the political appointments, where you do not need any qualifications, you can go and rot in the trenches with the mice and rats for all they care.

It all comes down to self-destruction in the end and not because of Jan van Riebeeck arriving in South Africa in 1652.

As a political party, the ANC may now be on a path of self-destruction!

It seems that the only occupation, where one does not need any academic qualification, is that of being a politician.

The oversight committees of Parliament are so late and ineffective with their controlling functions, that they can just as well be non-existent.

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