I have just read Mbuyiseni Ndlozi’s article in which he puts the blame for the economic downturn on a simple sound bite: "White monopoly capital and neoliberal principles". (SA may very well be beyond a technical recession, and this is why, September 5).
I am reading Steven Pinker’s book "Enlightenment Now. The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress". This is a book filled with research and data and discusses what it takes for humans to progress. I would love to see an opinion piece, or even a short summary of this book as an opinion piece, in Business Day. There are too many quick, unresearched sound bites appearing as news, stating as fact the ideology of a political party. It is difficult reading, being full of research and facts. But our economic policies deserve some critical thinking.
In SA we are very good at thinking in silos. It is rare for us to do systems thinking, considering all the factors that could affect problems like poverty, inequality, uncompetitiveness of larger industries, unemployment and so on.
I very rarely see any politician come up with a clear strategic plan, and a plan for how this will be implemented. In the early 2000s Malaysia’s economy was similar to ours.
I studied its strategic plan and watched them actually implement it. More importantly, the strategy was published and discussed in their newspapers.
While the government has developed several strategic plans for the country — the RDP, Gear, the National Development Plan and so on — and these have been based on excellent research, somehow they never get discussed in the press. I wonder why that is.
Also, why do we never read about the government’s implementation plans and how the government is performing against these? Would that not hold government more accountable?
I would love to see more opinion pieces based on solid thinking, research and fact, to balance the quick dramatic sound bites.