SA’s own businessmen need to have confidence
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