Earn trust, then im­ple­ment eco­nomic change

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS - Adri Senekal de Wet

I’M NOT RE­ALLY into pol­i­tics; what ex­cites or con­cerns me is the im­pact of pol­i­tics on South Africa’s eco­nomic per­for­mance; there­fore there was no rea­son for me to seek ac­cred­i­ta­tion for the ANC’s con­fer­ence over the past week­end at Nas­rec. It so hap­pened that I was in Gaut­eng at the time and re­alised that I can­not af­ford not to at­tend this con­tro­ver­sial ANC con­fer­ence.

I’m pas­sion­ate about the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan (NDP) and as the edi­tor of Busi­ness Re­port, I fo­cus on a few spe­cial projects, such as the mon­i­tor­ing of the NDP, re­search the im­pact of rat­ings on coun­tries, im­ple­ment­ing a new busi­ness strat­egy for In­de­pen­dent Busi­ness, Money & Wealth, in­no­va­tion, en­trepreneur­ship and tele­coms.

To at­tend the ANC’s con­fer­ence should have been a top pri­or­ity. Many e-mails to col­leagues, min­is­ters and the ANC lead­er­ship in Gaut­eng fol­lowed. The re­sult: I was not al­lowed to at­tend.

Late on Satur­day evening I re­ceived a call from Paul Mashatile, ANC Gaut­eng chair­per­son, whom I met more than two decades ago; he apol­o­gised and ex­plained that proper process should be fol­lowed, but he would al­low me an hour for an in­ter­view. We dis­cussed:

The People & White Mo­nop­oly Cap­i­tal

PM: “There is no such thing as ‘white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal’, but mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal is a prob­lem. We agreed that the ANC will con­tinue to fight against white dom­i­na­tion and other forms of dom­i­na­tion within our so­ci­ety. White mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal has un­for­tu­nately been widely used as a dis­trac­tion by some; our mem­bers need to be dis­ci­plined in the use of lan­guage to sup­port their own po­lit­i­cal agen­das. The govern­ment, and the ANC, should fo­cus on what should be done to im­prove the lives of poor South Africans, in­clud­ing re­duc­ing the high lev­els of un­em­ploy­ment, grow­ing the econ­omy, pro­vid­ing young people with skills, sup­port­ing small busi­nesses, get­ting more back people in the econ­omy to own and con­trol busi­nesses and fac­to­ries and get­ting the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to sup­port de­vel­op­ment.”

Trust and Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion

“The lives of all South Africans can only be im­proved if our own people, whether they work on farms, in hospi­tals or head up big busi­nesses, trust lead­er­ship to make the right de­ci­sions, to lay the foun­da­tion for lo­cal and global com­pa­nies to in­vest in the coun­try. South African com­pa­nies should list their as­sets on the lo­cal stock ex­changes, in­vest in in­fra­struc­ture projects and be al­lowed to grow their com­pa­nies and re-in­vest div­i­dends back in the coun­try. There are many in­cen­tives for com­pa­nies to do so, like the youth and tax in­cen­tives, the black in­dus­tri­al­ists fund and others. These in­cen­tives were in­tro­duced to sup­port eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, al­low­ing en­trepreneurs to start or ex­pand their busi­nesses.

We need to start at home, if our own people don’t trust the poli­cies and vi­sion of the govern­ment, how can we ex­pect for­eign com­pa­nies to in­vest cap­i­tal in long-term projects? Ev­ery­thing nec­es­sary must be done to re­turn our coun­try to in­vest­ment grade. We need rad­i­cal ef­forts by labour, govern­ment, busi­ness and the me­dia to

The govern­ment, and the ANC, should fo­cus on what should be done to im­prove the lives of poor South Africans.

re­store our sov­er­eign rat­ings to in­vest­ment grade. Not­with­stand­ing the im­pli­ca­tions of the down­grades, South Africa must forge ahead with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of our Pro­gramme for Trans­for­ma­tion, Mod­erni­sa­tion and Re-in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, with a strong fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment.”

Mashatile’s char­ac­ter has been tested. He re­turned stronger and com­mit­ted to com­plete the jour­ney he was born for.

ANC Gaut­eng chair­per­son Paul Mashatile in an in­ter­view with Busi­ness Re­port edi­tor Adri Senekal de Wet. FILE PHOTO

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