Axed deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas has suggested that South Africa’s poor and sluggish economic growth has its roots in illegitimate leadership and a state that lacks credibility‚ vision and professionalism.
He said the country had grown at an average of 1% since 1990‚ saying patterns of inequality remained and unemployment continued to rise.
“…so there is something fundamentally wrong with our economic growth model‚” Jonas said.
He said to escape this low growth and high inequality trap‚ the country needed to firstly radically increase levels of participation among the majority of citizens who remained locked out of the economic mainstream.
Jonas said the 1994 economic consensus had run its course and now the country was in desperate need of a new inclusive growth consensus to take the country forward.
Addressing the Public Service Administration annual general meeting in Pretoria on Monday‚ Jonas said SA urgently needed to expand and diversify the economy to build collaborative economic networks and partnership to raise the levels of fixed investments in new sources of growth.
“But for this to happen we need legitimate leadership and a state that is credible‚ professional and visionary…unfortunately we all must agree that the opposite prevails‚ with the state and business currently coalescing around the narrow self-interest‚” he said to a thunderous applause from the audience.
Jonas pointed out that if political and commercial power overlap substantially‚ social development is held back and the state processes are dominated by wealth acquisition by the dominant elite.
“If we are to defeat these patronage system tendencies‚ we also need to succeed in building progressive and inclusive forms of collaboration with government‚ unions and business…here we must expose those who are cunningly conjuring up a false enemy to build populist support and distract attention away from their own shenanigans and I think we must welcome what has happened to (disgraced UK public relations firm) Bell Pottinger and some of the things that are happening now at KPMG because it actually shows that we have a society that is alive‚” he asserted.
Jonas lamented that South Africa was sitting with a ticking time bomb with high youth employment due to poor economic growth.
“In South Africa we are actually talking about youth crisis. because we are not addressing those fundamental issues of creating employment‚” he said.
By: Sipho Mabena – TimesLIVE
Source: TMG Digital.