Call it what it is: Squandering

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For South Africa to escape from its current malaise, it will need growth of 5.4% per annum for a sustained period.

By Terence Corrigan

This was the judgement of the National Planning Commission a decade ago. Without this: a figure which would reflect rising investment and encourage rising employment, not only would South Africa be doomed to endless economic crises, but its survival as a constitutional democracy could be imperiled.

This is an existential issue. 

If South Africa is to get growth in motion, it will need every resource that South Africa can muster. Equally importantly, there needs to be a prior recognition that after years of mismanagement of the country, these resources are desperately limited. A growing economy will depend on whether South Africa is able to shift its mode of operation from one premised on cronyism and corruption to one premised on prudence and productivity.

For years, this has been the implicit promise of President Ramaphosa’s government. There is not much practical evidence to support this undertaking. Recent documents obtained by business advocacy group Sakeliga speak strongly to the contrary.

Sourced from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development – some marked ‘Confidential’ ̶ they provide evidence of a plan to use ‘empowerment’ criteria to enforce racial ‘transformation’ on the agricultural sector. 

Of the four documents, the two most important are those entitled A Plan for the Alignment of DAFFs Internal Tools for the Implementation of the AgriBEE Sector Code: Enforcement Measures and AgriBEE Enforcement Guidelines. These documents spell out the various pieces of legislation over which the state has power, and which it can use to force along its ‘transformation’ agenda.

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