LETTER: Policy certainty to blame
Falling business confidence is not due to policy uncertainty but to counterproductive policies that produce neither growth nor employment
I don’t know how many times I have read or heard that business confidence is on the floor because of “policy uncertainty”. But this understates a problem that is much worse — confidence is lacking because of policy certainty, not uncertainty. Certainty that policy is and will continue to be bad.
Whatever happens with the elections and whatever happens with the ANC’s internal civil war, we are left with self-harming counterproductive policies that will produce neither growth nor employment: ideological expropriation with compensation; unnecessary conflict with the US over, for instance, Venezuela, Israel and Iran; business-damaging red tape and rent-seeking BEE; cadre deployment; paranoid visa restrictions; dysfunctional government departments; “innocent until proven guilty” ministers and officials; and no expectation of the urgently required reform and restructuring of the economy.
Though union numbers are well down and Cosatu should therefore be having less influence, the ANC is totally paralysed by its junior partner and cannot move on restructuring state-owned enterprises that require right-sizing and privatisation, or fix education while the SA Democratic Teachers Union resists any action that could monitor or discipline those teachers who are drunk, absent, child abusers or otherwise unqualified to teach young people. The certainty is more depressing than the uncertainty.