Picture: 123RF/bolina
Picture: 123RF/bolina

Claire Bisseker’s article "Three Swallows May Make Summer" (Features, February 6-12) highlights the opportunities on offer to boost our economy, but it contains ifs and buts that could hamper growth.

Bisseker should have mentioned a fourth: the government needs to reduce the regulations that constrain our markets.

The government must realise it needs to create an environment that eases the constraints of doing business. Without this, the circumstances offering hope will remain unexploited.

Bisseker quotes Hugo Pienaar of the Bureau of Economic Research, who points out the benefits of expanding renewable energy projects. But these structures need to be placed in the country’s industrial heartland at a prohibitive cost. Low inflation and the cost of borrowing could make these projects viable.

Bisseker’s "three swallows" may yet appear, but without government reforms, the country is at risk.

The R400bn Eskom owes lenders is the albatross that burdens the National Treasury, as are other nonperforming state-owned entities. Our balance of payments is on tilt, our sovereign debt unmanageable, our unemployment rate growing apace, and our welfare programme unsustainable. All of these should act as a spur to the government to restructure the economy. Failing that, disaster looms.

Ted O’Connor