ISAAH MHLANGA: Active inertia: the art of change by doing it the old way
Most government branches know the solutions, but still pivot on the same response that created the current economic malaise
SA requires three necessary but not sufficient conditions to propel economic growth from its snail’s pace of the past few years. First, regaining fiscal credibility, which I wrote about in these pages two weeks ago. Second, big-bang structural economic reforms, and lastly continued incentives and policy certainty in mining, land, energy and other areas to attract private sector investment.
For these three aspects to be realised there has to be consensus in the governing party, the government, business, trade unions and civil society on priority areas and what the structure of the economy should look like. As it stands, consensus does not appear to exist, and this has created what Tito Mboweni termed “policy inertia”. By inertia, I believe the finance minister was essentially saying there has been no, or at least very little, implementation of the economic reforms articulated in the Treasury’s economic policy paper at the end of 2019.