Bold intervention by business, organised labour and government is required to radically alter the course of SA’s economic fortunes. If nothing is done, sustained poverty, inequality and unemployment will continue to unravel the economic and social fabric of a country that, in fact, holds an abundance of potential. The priority needs to be deracialising the economy to benefit the majority of people. Here are some of the hard facts holding this back: real annual economic growth of about 4% between 1994 and 2007 was not sufficiently inclusive, nor labour-intensive. Record unemployment — 36% under the broad definition — and 63% youth unemployment, of mainly black citizens, has been witnessed. It means a material part of society is unable to meaningfully participate in both the supply and demand sides of the economy. Add to this that more than 17-million elderly, young or disabled South Africans, amounting to one third of the population, are dependent on social grants. Without doubt, sus...

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