HOW TO FIX SA
5 EXPERTS SHARE THEIR VIEWS
“We need to relax some aspects of the Labour Relations Act”
Herman Mashaba Chairman of the Free Market Foundation, CEO and founder of Leswikeng Minerals & Energy, and founder of cosmetics firm Black Like Me
1 What are the top three policy i ssues that are depressing SA’s growth rate?
Section 32 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA). The section allows the minister of labour to extend collective agreements concluded by bargaining councils in a sector to businesses that are not party to the agreement, and which many believe violates freedom of association rights enshrined in the constitution. All race-based legislation. There is too much government involvement in the economy. We should substantially reduce state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and their influence on the economy.
2 What are the positives? Can we strengthen and improve on these?
SA has a developed and modern infrastructure that can easily be exploited to improve and steer our economy to the next level, also not ignoring our level of business standing.
3 What can we do in the short term to boost growth?
Removing race-based legislation will immediately allow all South Africans to play meaningful roles in the economy, providing employment to millions. We also need to relax some aspects of the LRA, which currently makes it difficult for small businesses to operate.
4 SA has slid a further four places to 73 out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s latest Doing Business report. Do you agree that SA is slipping, and if so, how would you fix it?
I fully agree that our country is gradually slipping. Our current rating tells it all. We need l ess government involvement in driving economic growth. Small business development should be SA’s priority i n stimulating economic activity.
5 What would your strategy be to address the need for transformation and empowerment, while ensuring an attractive business environment for investors?
When all in SA are treated equally, our economic growth should be performing at least at 5% per annum, allowing government to collect more taxes that can be invested in education. Proper investment in education should be our priority in sustainable transformation. When our economy grows at least at 5%, we are not going to have enough white people to fill all senior positions. Sustainable transformation and empowerment will automatically happen when we focus our energies on growth of the economy.