President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his state of the nation address at parliament in Cape Town on February 7. Picture: REUTERS/RODGER BOSCH
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his state of the nation address at parliament in Cape Town on February 7. Picture: REUTERS/RODGER BOSCH

As I sat glued to the television, listening to President Cyril Ramaphosa deliver his state of the nation address (Sona), I could not help it but wonder: “How?”

How will the president break up the entrenched monopolies beyond just changing the competition legislation? How will he help local farmers and business leaders break with what the authors of Plowing the Sea, Michael Fairbanks and Lindsay Stace, call “the patterns of uncompetitive behaviour”?

How will the president help these leaders avoid overreliance on basic factors of comparative advantage (location, land); improve their understanding of customers; know when and when not to forward integrate; improve inter-firm co-operation; overcome defensiveness and avoid paternalism, as Fairbanks and Lindsay said?

I am wondering “how” because, unfortunately, we cannot chart a new course and achieve all the president’s aspirations through talk shops such as the Sona.

We need believable and solid actions led and implemented by capable people, and not comrade friends.

Mpumelelo Ncwadi
Cape Town