Sep 21, 2012
Reflection & ActionBack
Africa|Concrete|Lighting|Lonmin|Africa|South Africa|Media Attention|Solutions|Jabu Mabuza|Kgalema Motlanthe|Zwelinzima Vavi|South Africa
© Reuse this
A few pinpricks of light did appear at the seventeenth National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) summit, which took place at Ekurhuleni recently. The gathering did not attract much media attention, mainly owing to a feeling that Nedlac has lost its way. Nevertheless, the analysis that emerged was somewhat encouraging.
For one, organised business signalled that there is a need to “redefine” corporate success in South Africa in line with the concept of “shared value”, whereby profits would be optimised rather than maximised to ensure a reconnection between business accomplishment and social development and inclusion.
Business Unity of South Africa president Jabu Mabuza said that this shared-value vision was premised on improved integration between the creation of economic and social value.
To achieve this, companies would need to develop a far deeper understanding of community needs and challenges and reconnect company success with social development. “At a very basic level, the competitiveness of a company and the health of the communities around it are closely intertwined. Business needs a successful community and a successful community needs business.”
In his address on behalf of organised labour, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi asserted the recent events near the Lonmin operation also highlighted the need for greater urgency in addressing inequality – a “ticking bomb” that became an “exploded bomb” at Marikana.
The poor and marginalised were saying, “Wake up and do something about our situation”, Vavi averred.
Mabuza, Vavi and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who also addressed the meeting, reaffirmed the commitment of government business, labour and organised community groups to using social dialogue as a tool to finding solutions to the current breakdown in social cohesion, which was the result of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Business and government expressed a desire for the forging of a new “social compact”, based on a common vision and supported by pragmatic short- and long-term action plans.
Taking his lead from the recently published National Development Plan 2030, which was earlier officially endorsed by Cabinet, Motlanthe said that, despite low trust levels and the problems of representivity, a “social contract could contribute to providing the political, economic and social conditions for long-run development”.
“We should strive to find a common vision to take us forward. Now is the time to begin laying the basis for a social contract for our labour relations and our labour market that will contribute to achieving a more equitable and inclusive form of economic growth,” he added.
But all stakeholders also acknowledged that Nedlac, which some felt had run its course and should be closed, needed to be overhauled to become a more effective platform for dialogue.
Participants lamented a declining quality of participation in Nedlac structures, some of which had been reduced to a “talk shop”, owing to the fact that some social partners were sending junior representatives, who had no mandate or authority to take decisions.
It was also accepted that, despite being time-consuming and often frustrating, there was simply no alternative to rekindling social dialogue, which had been so key in South Africa’s difficult transition from apartheid to democracy.
But sound analysis now needs to be backed by concrete and visible action to ensure the candles of hope can be seen shining across the country, the continent and the world.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Editorial Insight News
Updated 6 hours ago A former employee of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta) and his accomplice have each been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment after being found guilty of fraud by the Specialised Commercial Court, in...
Updated 6 hours ago The Richards Bay Bulk Terminal, in KwaZulu-Natal, loaded 1.49-million tons of cargo in September, exceeding its monthly target of 1.32-million tons, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) said on Monday. TPT said the reaching of vessel targets ahead of deadline created...
Updated 6 hours ago The revenue implications for South Africa of ‘base erosion and profit shifting’ by corporate taxpayers are firmly in the crosshairs of the Davis Tax Committee (DTC) and Judge Dennis Davis hinted on Monday that recommendations were being considered to “detect and...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
The broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) alignment process in the con-struction sector has begun, dur-ing which the sector codes of the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) will be aligned with the revised Codes of Good Practice (CoGP), which come...
It is second time lucky for Toby Venter. Ten years ago he negotiated to buy the Kyalami racetrack, but “the deal did not materialise”.
Environmental solutions company I-Cat started construction work on its R22-million, 1 949 m2 environmentally sustainable office and warehouse facility, commissioned by I-CAT Environmental Solutions, at a launch event in October. The new sustainable I-CAT campus,...
Effective file synchronisation and sharing across an organisation’s structures can provide the basis for robust mobile-device and document management while maintaining proper backup, version control and content distribution. These are the lessons learned by complex...
Hotel group Carlson Rezidor currently holds the largest hotel pipeline in Africa with 30 hotels and 6 300 rooms under development. The hotel group develops and operates Radisson Blu in the upper upscale segment and Park Inn by Radisson in the mid-market segment. With...