Make less noise for your own sake – Gordhan

2012-06-27 09:13

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said South Africans should make less “noise” and find more common ground for the sake of the economy.

Answering a question on social cohesion at the ANC’s Progressive Business Forum breakfast in Midrand this morning, Gordhan said “in South Africa we are more noisy than we need to be and we need to work harder to find common ground”.

He said all South Africans should ensure that we attract greater confidence to South Africa.

“We need to work harder to find a consensus and common purpose. If we don’t, we will all suffer the consequences,” Gordhan said, adding that he was an optimist.

But Gordhan said government still needed to do a lot to eradicate the scars of apartheid.

“We sometimes forget that apartheid ever existed. It has left some serious scars on the South African psyche and body politic, and structures,” he said.

This still affected schools, rural development as well as opportunities that people had, he said.

“Apartheid is still a fact in South Africa and the damage it caused,” he said.

He said the ANC has done a lot in the past 18 years but still needed to do more, especially to solve the structural problems.

“Post 1994, we have created a democracy, we have created democratic institutions and we have got democracy working in practice. What we haven’t been able to do to is change the fundamental structure of the economy,” he said.

“What the last three years have shown is that you can’t get the state to disappear, if the state disappears then who will bail out the banks and all sorts of things around the world. So there is a new realisation that there is a place for the state in the South African economy and particularly in economic language there is a concept of market failure.”

Russian businessman Roman Panov also addressed the breakfast gathering of businesspeople about his company, Norilsk.

They both received a bottle of L’Huguenot wine, a South African wine aimed at the Chinese market.

Renier Schoeman from the ANC’s Progressive Business Forum said a bottle of this wine was bought by a Chinese businessman for R60 000 at the forum’s gala dinner auction on Monday night.

The forum breakfasts are held at Gallagher Convention Centre as part of the ANC’s four-day policy conference, which started here yesterday.

» Follow our coverage of the ANC policy conference: www.citypress.co.za/ANC-policy
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