The CEO of Business Leadership South Africa, Bonang Mohale, has urged government to reflect on itself, reduce inordinate debt and cut the rot of corruption, as state capture steals from the poor.
Mohale, speaking to The Citizen on Tuesday, tabled a few strategies that government could implement to better grow the country’s economy post-elections.
The first step was for government to reflect on what ratings agencies have been looking for from South Africa. The country narrowly avoided a blow in March when its sovereign rating was not downgraded to junk status by Moody’s.
Moody’s opted not to release any report but simply stated that its ratings for South Africa would not be updated.
The prerequisites of rating agencies played a pivotal role in the country’s economy and government had to take this to heart if it intended on bending the economic growth arrow upwards, said Mohale.
These would be among the most important elections to date for the country, and government had a responsibility to root out and defeat state capture once the dust had settled.
Mohale urged government to work hand in hand with business to effect transformation and ensure the country’s economic landscape practically represented its people and was not an image resembling that of Europe.
He reflected on the bold issues that South Africa was faced with, which the business sector was committed to tackling.
“We’ve spoken about fixing Eskom, as it remains the single biggest systemic risk the country faces.”
Business was committed to assist in fixing all government institutions, including reducing the size of cabinet to help reduce government debt.
An inclusive socioeconomic growth plan was also on the table and attracting and retaining foreign and direct investment were some of the issues the sector was committed to.
He urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to help root out corruption and said this was imperative after the elections.
“We want to increase the size of the economy, otherwise we will soon be talking about the redistribution of poverty and not the redistribution of wealth.
“We need to build on the things that we have already done. As business, we want to play our part.
“Business must lead on land reform. We need to lead on transformation. We need to lead in taking the country out of the fiscal crisis, to lead on growth in terms of the GDP and on education, as South Africa remains the only country in Africa that has become free from our colonial masters but did not intentionally improve the quality of education.”
Mohale believes the key is to build a positive legacy and says business is more than prepared to do their part in trying to lead the charge against unemployment.