Despite registering what he refers to as a number of positive developments in the interaction between business and government, one cannot help sharing the frustration implicit in outgoing Business Unity SA president Sipho Pityana’s opinion piece (“Busa has made progress but business needs to step up and tackle challenges”, August 30).
He confirms that the economic and social challenges and crises that existed in 2018 when he came into office — including economic growth, unemployment, ratings downgrades, Eskom and other state-owned enterprises, attracting investment into our country (and he might have added levels of corruption) — not only remain today but have worsened, and the economy has continued to deteriorate.
Notwithstanding the social compacts, partnerships and consensus between government and business in the form of the National Economic Development and Labour Council, and talk of structural economic reforms, the fact is that due to a lack of “urgency and resolve” from the ANC-led government and its inability to take hard decisions, our country and its citizens find themselves in dire economic straits.
It is significant to note that Pityana repeatedly uses the words “urgent” and “urgency” throughout his article, and that exactly exposes the reason for our failing state. All institutions of state, the executive, the legislature and even the judiciary simply do not seem to understand the meaning of and necessity for urgency in taking decisions and resolving our problems. They abide by a policy of postponement, prevarication and procrastination to evade the hard decisions. Perhaps our president is accused number one in this regard.
Pityana is right when he states that things work best when all critical stakeholders are inside the tent, and it is time for the broader SA civil society, not just business, to mobilise as one and impress upon government that they will no longer tolerate faction-induced and confused ideology within the ANC, or allow it to continue to deny the potential for improved wellbeing and quality of life for so many of our citizens and future generations.
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