SA’s own busi­ness­men need to have con­fi­dence

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION&ANALYSIS -

YOUR edition Fri­day Jan­uary 20, “All sec­tors must co-op­er­ate to cre­ate jobs”, refers. This mes­sage of co-op­er­a­tion has been mouthed by civil so­ci­ety for the past fif­teen years. Even our gov­ern­ment seems to want to give out such a mes­sage and the abil­ity to at­tract in­vest­ment in South African busi­ness would lead to at least some job cre­ation.

Re­cently most of the in­vest­ments have lead to job­less growth, as seen in much of the mo­tor in­dus­try. But the South African Busi­ness com­mu­nity needs to have their faith re­stored in the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment cre­ated by our gov­ern­ment. Our busi­ness com­mu­nity has an enor­mous sum of money which has been in­vested else­where than their own busi­nesses.

We need to en­sure that the en­vi­ron­ment cre­ated by our gov­ern­ment is rad­i­cally changed, so as to en­able the sen­ti­ment of our own busi­ness com­mu­nity to be turned to a pos­i­tive one. It is rather laugh­able to call for for­eign in­vest­ment when our lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity has sent a mes­sage to the gov­ern­ment that the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment is not con­ducive to growth and job cre­ation. Sim­ple fac­tors such as the reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment, the labour laws and the gov­ern­men­tal in­ter­fer­ence need to be tack­led and re­versed. Once this en­vi­ron­ment has been re­struc­tured by a new gov­ern­ment we will see how quickly for­eign in­vest­ment flows into our coun­try. MICHAEL BAGRAIM, MP DEPUTY SHADOW MIN­IS­TER OF LABOUR, MEM­BER OF PAR­LIA­MENT

The chaos con­tin­ues

The most ridicu­lous re­sult of the il­le­gal power dis­con­nec­tions in Brits (Madibeng dis­trict) is that the dam­ages claim from the af­fected busi­nesses will have to be borne by the coun­try’s tax­pay­ers.

Surely this is an­other ex­am­ple of why we should hold in­com­pe­tent of­fi­cials re­spon­si­ble for id­i­otic de­ci­sions or ac­tions.

There is no doubt that of the R50m de­manded from the busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion by the coun­cil a large pro­por­tion would have been si­phoned off by un­scrupu­lous coun­cil­lors/of­fi­cial. How long can this coun­try ab­sorb this chaos? TONY BALL PINETOWN

A real mile­stone

One of the more re­mark­able mo­ments thus far in the very slow trans­for­ma­tion of the Cape wine in­dus­try has just taken place. Trans­for­ma­tion on the farm­ing in­dus­try has been lack­ing and black peo­ple con­tinue to live in ab­ject poverty while their coun­ter­parts live nicely in com­fort. There’s been a ground­break­ing agree­ment be­tween the Solms-Delta es­tate in Fran­schhoek and the na­tional gov­ern­ment: the farm’s work­ers now take 45 per­cent of the busi­ness (in­clud­ing brand and land), funded by the gov­ern­ment’s Na­tional Em­pow­er­ment Fund, with the NEF it­self tak­ing 5 per­cent. This en­ti­tles the NEF a place on the board, along with two rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the work­ers, plus Mark Solms and Richard Astor, and the farm man­ager.

For many years now, Solms-Delta has represented by far the most rad­i­cal ges­ture to­wards trans­for­ma­tion in this in­dus­try. We have seen not only the estab­lish­ment of a worker’s trust own­ing a third of the busi­ness in the new regime at the es­tate, but, just as im­por­tant, the build­ing of a cul­ture of hu­man dig­nity through the recog­ni­tion and cel­e­bra­tion of Cape cul­ture, through mu­se­ums, fes­ti­vals and his­tor­i­cal re­search. Specif­i­cally, the place in Cape wine­mak­ing his­tory of the slaves and work­ers whose vi­tal con­tri­bu­tions have been largely ig­nored by the in­dus­try, have been fore­grounded.

The vexed ques­tion of land-own­er­ship has al­ways, though, been recog­nised as a cen­tral one and it is this as­pect which has been so lit­tle ad­dressed in most “em­pow­er­ment” ges­tures in a sadly com­pla­cent wine in­dus­try. Giv­ing up of a third of their prop­erty was a rad­i­cal ges­ture by Mark Solms and the Bri­tish philanthropist Richard Astor. Now, with the in­volve­ment of the state, there’s a far more solid ba­sis for build­ing on the ex­per­i­ment. TSHEPO DIALE NKWE ES­TATE

It is sim­ply a ruse

I have to con­fess that there have prob­a­bly been count­less pre­vi­ous ref­er­ences to the “money-mak­ing” facets of cli­mate change and that be­fore now they have es­caped my at­ten­tion. How­ever, in Busi­ness Re­port re­cently it was ac­tu­ally high­lighted that “cli­mate change” presents le­gion op­por­tu­ni­ties to “make money”.

I main­tain that mankind’s so-called car­bon footprint on the planet does not come any­where close to con­sti­tut­ing even 0.01 per­cent of the global warm­ing phe­nom­e­non. This is a pure, pa­thetic and crim­i­nal ruse by money-grub­bing politi­cians to ex­act mon­e­tary penance from peo­ple for what, in re­al­ity, is merely a cycli­cal phase of the planet’s al­ready proven evo­lu­tion­ary his­tory. DAVID CARTWRIGHT LE DOMAINE, HILL­CREST

Their hands are tied

AS IT stands lo­cal poul­try pro­duc­ers’ hands are tied in the short-run, the economies of scale are just not favour­ing. The low cost al­ter­na­tive would be part­ner­ship with for­eign poul­try pro­duc­ers. RCL could lever­age its brand and lo­cal ex­per­tise, with that and the low cost poul­try from for­eign part­ner(s) the com­pany could re­cover sig­nif­i­cant prof­its and hope­fully spare some jobs. LW RAMUSHU VIA E-MAIL

Floating bad for rand

I have been read­ing var­i­ous in­ter­est­ing facts about the dan­gers that have be­come ap­par­ent since many of the world’s cur­ren­cies have been floated on the in­ter­na­tional money mar­kets.

In my lim­ited ca­pac­ity, it seems that South Africa has not gained any­thing by it, as we have lost ground to all the ma­jor in­ter­na­tional cur­ren­cies, the dol­lar be­ing a point in fact. CHRIS KNAGGS NORTH BEACH

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