It’s all about the coun­try


IN 1977, author RW John­son wrote a book, How Long will SA Sur­vive – the Loom­ing Cri­sis. Re­cently John­son, ad­dress­ing a Busi­ness Sci­ence fo­rum in Jo­han­nes­burg, said struc­tural re­forms rec­om­mended by the World Bank, IMF and other rat­ings agen­cies which in­clude lib­er­al­is­ing the labour mar­ket, re­duc­ing pub­lic sec­tor pay and turn­ing around fail­ing state in­sti­tu­tions while re­form­ing the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, was needed to bring about sta­bil­ity in South Africa.

John­son’s sen­ti­ments, set out in Fin­week this week, have been echoed by other econ­o­mists in the past few weeks.

He also in­di­cates that the best ex­am­ples of good lead­er­ship are cur­rently com­ing from civil so­ci­ety.

De­spite the doom and gloom, John­son in­di­cates that “de­spite all this, I still wouldn’t want to live any­where else.”

With South Africa fac­ing crises like the financial sit­u­a­tion of Eskom and the Post Of­fice, on­go­ing con­cerns over a top-heavy and costly gov­ern­ment, a high level of un­em­ploy­ment and a gen­eral rise in crime lev­els, it is not sur­pris­ing that a new re­search study by Univer­sum Global has found that Gen­er­a­tion Z, de­scribed as the ‘next gen­er­a­tion of dig­i­tal na­tives’ are far less op­ti­mistic than the pre- ced­ing one of Gen­er­a­tion X, also called the millenials.

The main fears of Gen­er­a­tion Z are a lack of job op­por­tu­ni­ties and crip­pling stu­dent debt, if they go to univer­sity.

Of course, what is fac­ing our coun­try is fac­ing coun­tries around the world and while South Africa may have some ad­di­tional chal­lenges to deal with, one thing is cer­tain. In­no­va­tion, ac­tive cit­i­zenry and par­tic­i­pa­tion are all go­ing to be key to our fu­ture.

We will need cit­i­zens who are for­ward-think­ing in terms of poli­cies and new ways to free the mar­ket for labour growth. We will need cit­i­zens who want to con­trib­ute in a pos­i­tive man­ner to the de­vel­op­ment of South Africa to the ben­e­fit of all who live here. We will need en­trepreneurs who are sup­ported by a gov­ern­ment which sees eco­nomic growth and job cre­ation as prime re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and pri­or­i­ties in see­ing our coun­try through trou­bled times.

We will need ev­ery South African com­mit­ted to a bet­ter coun­try to fo­cus on the well­be­ing of their fel­low man through peace­ful and goal-ori­en­tated meth­ods.

Pose your­self the ques­tion John­son an­swered: “Would you want to live any­where else?” If the an­swer is no, start mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

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