To paraphrase John F Kennedy, business should speak out on political issues not because it is easy, but precisely because it is difficult.It’s a subject that has been much debated in recent weeks in the wake of Futuregrowth’s public stance on the chaos at state-owned companies.If there were ever a time to break the code of silence, it is now: inappropriate and contradictory policies, corruption and neglect are wreaking economic havoc. Political infighting has only made the environment more toxic.Yet SA executives have an unhappy history, particularly during the apartheid era, of shying away from openly criticising the government of the day.Their stance isn’t without justification: they fear being punished — by being excluded from state contracts, for example.But their argument for quiet diplomacy rests on the premise that it’s not in the interests of their shareholders to be in open warfare with the state.Well, it should be abundantly clear that it is now at the stage where it is no...
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