THE THICK END OF WEDGE
PETER BRUCE: We can’t put clean water in a dirty bucket
’The moment you become a shareholder in a business with these guys, FBI screens in Washington light up’
Nobody got too excited by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s 14-point action plan to address, or create, "inclusive economic growth" the other day. Partly that’s because unlike its simpleton cousin, Radical Economic Transformation, Inclusive Economic Growth is actually, like most valuable ideals, quite a complicated thing to undertake.
I’ve read the Gigaba proposals and I can’t find any growth in them. I can’t find any inclusivity in them either. Perhaps I’m just dumb. Growth is growth, surely. You need investment in the right policies and strategies and projects. Inclusivity implies doing hard things together. You create a new culture by doing something together. Normally it would take being invaded to unite a nation. We have to find another way. We all spotted the opening for private-sector participation in some state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Gigaba’s plan and that’s good. But no private wealth is going to go anywhere near a government business touched by the Gupta family. That, for the moment, rules out South African Airways, Eskom, Transnet and Denel.Who needs it? The moment you become a shareholder in a business with these guys, FBI screens in Washington light up and suddenly you’re in the queue of politically connected people supposedly in business around the world who are either laundering money for them...