‘SA’s tired of good talk’
EXPERTS: FORGET THE MASTER PLANS, THE COUNTRY NEEDS ACTION PLANS
The time for talk is long past. Cyril Ramaphosa must act now to stop the decline of South Africa, say pundits. They believe potential investors are fed-up with the president’s policy uncertainty and never-ending master plans and fruitless investment summits. The honeymoon is over, they say.
The analysts says Ramaphosa needs to take action to address high unemployment and stagnant economic growth and corruption. They made some suggestions, including that he must announce improvements in policy coherence, expansion of energy generation sources, and innovation in agricultural production – all of which will help grow the economy and create jobs.
As Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation address (Sona) today, the experts said he must act against the culprits responsible for state capture, instead of complaining about the problem. He must find ways to reduce the high unemployment which stands at 29.1%, address the national debt and ensure certainty of power supply by Eskom or provide alternative energy sources that would guarantee the future of their businesses.
“The honeymoon is over for Cyril, the international community and local businesses are no longer impressed, they want to see tangible actions,” said political economist Zamikhaya Maseti.
He expressed dismay that the fourth-quarter report showed no change in the unemployment rate and said the country needed to be more innovative to grow the economy in all sectors.
Maseti said Ramaphosa must move away from issuing more master plans and, instead, introduce action plans to turn around the economy and deliver services. He urged him to display decisiveness and the determination to act.
“Cyril must end this policy fatigue,” he said.
Political economist Daniel Silke said whatever Ramaphosa came up with in terms of planning would “come to naught anyway”. “We don’t want to hear at all about state capture and the commissions of inquiry. We want to see action.
“Ramaphosa must make an example with a high-profile arrest to show that action is being taken to ensure cleaner governance. The words are good but it’s action that must match the words,” Silke said.
He said the president had more latitude for talk and promises in the last two Sonas. Since then, though, he had nothing to show, because GDP levels remained sluggish while the national debt had increased.
“We are tired of the good talk, it’s time for action,” Silke said.
The president must also show a greater willingness to allow the private sector to play a role in service delivery and particularly in state-owned enterprises.
Maseti suggested SA must introduce innovation in all sectors of the economy – agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
“We need to introduce what is called ‘precision farming’ – which is planting in tunnels to protect plants against climate change. In this new agricultural innovation, you don’t need to use pesticides,” Maseti said.
He said communities must be encouraged to get used to precision farming so that they could grow and sell their produces to retailers.
BIG DAY. A woman passes a Sona 2020 sign outside parliament in Cape Town during preparations for the State of the Nation address taking place today.