There is never a bad time to pursue radical economic transformation, but that must happen within the ruling party and within the government; this was the theme in which Dr Mathews Phosa opened this year’s Junior Indaba in his key note address.
Phosa, explaining what South Africa should do to re-establish its relevance to international investors, said that at the very least, South Africa needs to establish new leadership, implement changes in the economic policy, and implement urgent changes in the education system.
He said the county should build consensus between all stakeholders on how to revive ‘ radical economic transformation’ in other country, and not merely throw around this term.
“In terms of South Africa’s separation of powers, we have the three centres of powers, the executive cabinet, the legislation/national assembly, and the judiciary. As things stand now, the only functioning centre of power in this country is the judiciary. Our executive under the president’s leadership has failed to illustrate how it intends to provide the country’s poor with economic comfort and security.
“The president has failed to uphold the constitution, and respect his oath of office – what we have seen under this president will be radical economic looting, leading to radical crime and uncertainty.”
Phosa expressed that his views on apartheid are that it was a crime against humanity and the worst crime committed against the South African people. He went on to say that after apartheid, he regarded the Zuma administration as the worst crime ever against the people of South Africa. “We need leadership who understands that South Africa belongs to all that live in it.” he disclosed.
Phosa highlighted exercises the country should implement to attract the much needed foreign investment for the country and the mining sector.
These included, education, redefining the economic strategy, and regaining confidence of our investors.
“’We need to treat education, every form of it a precursor to drive our economy forward. We need to ask leaders from the private sector to join government to find and execute skills development programmes of the highest excellence, to pave the way for an economic shift,” he said. “But don’t ask the private sector to pay tax twice.”
Phosa concluded by saying that a redefinition of our economic strategy that incentivises the private sector and foreign investors who create jobs in the short term, should be be top of the agenda.
“We need to regain the confidence of our investors. We need to stop tinkering around certain charters, as if they are going to bring about this “radical transformation” because there is nothing radical about them. By renegotiating these charters, we sacrifice stakeholders. We cannot continue changing the rules of the game,” he concluded.