A BEE Novation perspective on the economy, transformation, and South Africa’s newly appointed leader
Written by: BEE Novation
“By working together, in a genuine partnership, underscored by trust and a shared vision, I am certain we will be able to resolve the current impasse and agree on a Charter that both accelerates transformation and grows this vital sector of our economy.” President Cyril Ramaphosa
The new president’s statements present a strong promise of change, and we can anticipate sweeping structural changes going forward. An invitation has been possed in the “Send me” statement, for everyone to come on board, or stay in what one may perceive to be their safe space or brace to face the guaranteed winds of change.
Economical commitment is strong. Key sectors to note; mining, agriculture, tourism and ICT with regards government shifting its pace of engagement in fostering economic growth. These may require the most focused approach towards transformation. #BEEmakessense.
Agriculture has often featured in light of the land reform policy, with the key stimulant of discussion being more emotive than economical, however with the notable performance of the sector of last two quarters. It can be noted in the speech how the economic power of this sector to transform the country has come to the forefront again. It still stands to be seen how the balance will be found between the new found strong economic focus and the need to rationally implement the land redistribution plan.
Across all keynotes that stood out the in speech, Implementation is the new currency, though elusive as the Bitcoin currency. We live, to see how it will move. It is imperative for businesses to partner with government by tapping into the existing and new incentives created by the government to foster growth, taking into account that costs are set to rise with the new national minimum wage.
Policy consistency is an imperative going forward and #BEE sector charters cannot be viewed in isolation. A broad macroeconomic policy scope is critical for thriving in the years ahead. We have strong economic policies and strong financial systems, however dependant on the social fabric these very policies can be undermined by a corrupt system and lack of integrity within government. A strong social fabric will prove to be critical to the implementation of service delivery and access to opportunity. Ramaphosa’s firing shots on eradicating corruption inspire hope in a new era of governance.
Policy on the national level and implementation at the local level is going to require commitment across all levels of leadership in the public administration space. One good thing about having a businessman running our country is seeing them using business strategies in the government space. It is common practice for a newly appointed CEO to sit with branch managers and propose a collective, consultative and collaborative action plan for effective restructuring to take the business in a new direction. This we see in the President’s statement of “I will also find time to meet with provincial and local government leaders to ensure that the state, in its entirety, responds to the pressing needs of our people.” We do hope that in the same business culture, some level of accountability will exist in use of funds in the public space, in spite of the lack of a profitability inspired model in government. In the past years, voter action has often been based on emotion, rather than actionable deliverables from government officials. This business approach might help mitigate the flaw of an emotive voter based accountability system.
The B-BBEE policy remains as South Africa’s chief economic policy aimed at addressing racial economic inequality, youth unemployment and women empowerment. It will be interesting to see how the unraveling of commitments made in the SONA speech will be facilitated by the policy in the coming year.