Cultivate a productive mindset!

2012-01-21 11:33

Reading the Tjatjarag column “Enough of the self-deprecation already” of December 18 2011 by editor-in-chief Ferial Haffajee was both encouraging and ­refreshing. South Africa has for decades been the beacon of hope for the unrated and war-ravaged Africa.

During the white minority rule, our nation, owing to sanctions, developed alternative production capacity that ushered in a second wave of industrialisation following the mining revolution. This capacity was tested over time and it proved to be solid and ­comparable to capacities of industrialised economies.

When we ushered in a new dispensation in 1994, it became easy to remodel our economy when we introduced economic fundamentals that have been tested before in the developed economies. This led to a positive growth ­after a long period when our economy had experienced negative growth. Since 1994, we have continued to be the biggest economy on the continent.

We are still the pivot around which the regional economy hinges. Our cities, infrastructure and policies reflect a commitment to modernisation and to providing a platform for regional ­development and for the rest of Africa.

Where the challenge is glaring is in the attitudes of South Africans, particularly some sections of the minority communities. They do not associate with the new order. Anything done by the ANC-led government amounts to nothing. If they have to comment about their country, all they harp on about is corruption and crime.

Most of the political parties and some sections of the media fail to ­balance narrow party interest and ­national interest and thus fuel the ­notion of negative patriotism.

South Africa has what it takes to ­inspire the rise of African and South East Asian economies. And while there are genuine concerns, you seldom hear these minorities acknowledging that South Africa, despite its challenges, is moving forward.

Our modern cities and infrastructure are adapting to world standards. Despite the size of our economy, we have a seat in the G20. We have been acknowledged as a partner by forums like the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. We currently sit on the UN Security Council. We are part of both Brics and Ibsa. And owing to the strength of our ­systems and policies, we weathered the 2008 global economic meltdown.

As a liberation movement, the ANC has acknowledged the fact that it ­inherited a functional infrastructure.

However, there is hardly a reciprocity from our fellow nationals that our democratic state has impacted positively on South Africa, its policies, democratic institutions and development agenda. Instead, there is a perception tendency that anything done by blacks is suspect or sub-standard.

We need to support President Jacob Zuma’s initiatives on anti-crime and anti-corruption, and use our energies to generate solutions. This will go a long way towards nation- and confidence-building among all citizens.

» Khoza is ANC communications manager

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