It is no secret that the country is not doing well from an economic perspective, with all indicators pointing to this continuing in the wrong direction.
The issues of poverty, inequality and unemployment were expected to worsen and, therefore, much was required to turn this situation around, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busisiwe Mavuso, said during a live podcast hosted by The Free Marketeers on April 15.
Mavuso decried the country’s high inequality rate, describing it as the biggest problem in the country.
She indicated that economic reform was vital and that it would be driven by key structural reforms that needed to be implemented.
Mavuso said the country was found wanting in this regard; therefore, it was sitting with an environment that is not conducive for businesses to invest in.
Mavuso emphasised that the country was clear on what needed to be done in terms of structural reforms but the issue was implementation.
She indicated that the problem with a lack of implementation in the country hinged on the political leadership's current self-destructiveness and the lack of a singular view of what should constitute growth in the country.
“We must confront the uncomfortable truth that until there is coherence and direction from the top, the things that we need to achieve as a country will not happen,” she emphasised.
In terms of tackling the country’s ailing State-owned enterprises (SOEs), Mavuso said questions must be asked as to why so many are needed in the country, as this does not make sense especially in an environment where not even one of them is giving dividends to shareholders.
She said there was a serious problem of ideology in the country, where the government believed it needed to be central to the economic recovery agenda, which did not correlate with most investment needing to come from the private sector.
Therefore, she indicated that the discussion must be around bringing in the private sector to assist SOEs from an efficiency, balance sheet and skills perspective.
She also emphasised that need for electricity stability and, therefore, for Eskom to be fixed. She said that in an environment that seeks to drive growth, companies need to be in position to produce, and for this, stable electricity is required.
Mavuso said stable electricity supply was critical if the country wanted to attract investment and engender competitiveness.