Prof sheds lig­ht on the sta­te of the e­co­nomy

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Voorblad -

Mem­bers of the Graaff-rei­net C­ham­ber of Com­mer­ce we­re tre­a­ted to an in­te­res­ting and thoug­ht-pro­vo­king talk by C­har­les Wait at their re­cent meet­ing, held at the Drost­dy Ho­tel.

Wait, who is an E­me­ri­tus Pro­fes­sor of E­co­no­mi­cs at the Nel­son Man­de­la U­ni­ver­si­ty, ga­ve his views and in­ter­pre­ta­ti­on on the cur­rent sta­te of the South A­fri­can e­co­nomy.

The cur­rent techni­cal re­ces­si­on was ex­plai­ned as being a term u­sed due to the de­cli­ne of the coun­try’s GDP for the se­cond succes­si­ve quar­ter. Wait en­lar­ged on the six va­ri­a­bles that gi­ve a tem­pe­ra­tu­re re­a­ding for the e­co­nomy, with se­con­da­ry in­di­ca­ti­ons in­clu­ding a very re­al con­cern in this a­rea, that of u­nem­ploy­ment.

Wait u­sed the a­na­lo­gy for the sta­te of the e­co­nomy of a com­pu­ter pro­gram run­ning qui­et­ly in the back­ground, w­hi­le ot­her work is in pro­gress.

Three in­tan­gi­ble a­re­as we­re dis­cus­sed. In the a­rea of e­thi­cs and cor­rup­ti­on, he poin­ted out that a re­port is­su­ed e­ar­lier this y­e­ar sho­wed that South A­fri­ca drop­ped to a low sco­re of on­ly 43 out of 100 be­t­ween 2016 and 2017, com­pa­red with Nor­way on 86 and New Ze­a­land on 89. A sco­re of 100 re­pre­sents ze­ro cor­rup­ti­on, so South A­fri­ca has a long way to go! Cor­rup­ti­on in the pri­va­te sec­tor is quick­ly pu­nis­hed, but the­re is a much slo­wer pro­cess of dis­clo­su­re w­hen it hap­pens in the pu­blic sec­tor.

Ot­her in­tan­gi­bles in­clu­de i­de­as and en­tre­pre­neurs­hip, w­he­re new bu­si­nes­ses need sup­port and help to o­ver­co­me end­less red ta­pe.

The fi­nal in­tan­gi­ble rai­sed was the sta­te and con­fi­den­ce in the South A­fri­can e­co­nomy. Wait poin­ted out to the au­dien­ce that all tho­se pre­sent had succee­ded be­cau­se so­meo­ne had con­fi­den­ce in their i­de­as.

He al­so tal­ked a­bout the fourth in­dus­tri­al re­vo­lu­ti­on, w­he­re com­pu­ters are seen to be ta­king o­ver jobs pre­vi­ous­ly do­ne by hu­mans. An in­te­res­ting a­na­lo­gy, per­ti­nent to South A­fri­cans, was u­sed. “W­hen we chan­ged from ox-wa­gons to lor­ries we dis­char­ged two of the three es­sen­ti­al per­sons who o­pe­ra­ted an ox wa­gon - we cre­a­ted a 66% u­nem­ploy­ment ra­te. W­hat if that sca­red us from swit­ching to lor­ries?” said Wait.

“South A­fri­ca’s pro­blem in this mat­ter is main­ly one of re­trai­ning the two per­sons who are no lon­ger nee­ded to o­pe­ra­te an ox wa­gon to be­co­me mo­tor me­cha­ni­cs or au­to e­lec­tri­ci­ans.”

The talk con­clu­ded with so­me so­lu­ti­ons for long-term pro­gress, in­clu­ding an en­coura­ge­ment to re­turn to a va­lu­edri­ven so­cie­ty with a strong work e­thic, w­he­re pe­op­le re­spect in­sti­tu­ti­ons that in­stil con­fi­den­ce. A cle­ar un­der­stan­ding is ne­ces­sa­ry of the re­la­ti­ons­hip be­t­ween pu­blic and pri­va­te sec­tors, and their in­ter­de­pen­den­ce.

“Don’t try to fix w­hat is not bro­ken, but ra­pid­ly and ef­fecti­ve­ly fix the on­es that are bro­ken” con­clu­ded Wait.

E­me­ri­tus Pro­fes­sor C­har­les Wait re­cent­ly ad­dres­sed mem­bers of the lo­cal C­ham­ber of Com­mer­ce at the Drost­dy Ho­tel.

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