Business says SA has one last chance to prevent becoming a failed state
Without following a socio-economic recovery plan, SA runs the risk of becoming "another failed African state", according to Business Leadership SA (BLSA) CEO Bonang Mohale.
Speaking at the BLSA office in Sandton on Thursday, Mohale set out its economic priorities in the short term. Part of BLSA’s focus is revitalising the relationship between business and government, which had been strained under former president Jacob Zuma.
"We’re feeling very energised as business not to be given another chance — but our last chance. If we don’t succeed, we’ll become another failed African state."
The top priorities for business is to work with law enforcement agencies to address state capture and corruption; protect anti-corruption whistle-blowers; work with the new South African Revenue Service (SARS) leadership to address tax morality; assist in ensuring social grants reach the intended beneficiaries; and address challenges in state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
"As a people, we can create institutions that are world class. We need to redouble our efforts in state building. We have hollowed out these institutions."
Under new political leadership, Mohale said SA has been warmly received by investors, but concerns remain around structural reforms, governance of SOEs and persistently low growth.
"We were warmly received on the non-deal investor road shows with Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Gungubele. All three rating agencies and 120 investors celebrated the fact that our indices are pointing in the right direction, but raised concerns as well," he said.
He added that business is prepared to work with government, labour and civil society to address the "critical structural reforms the economy needs".