Top businessmen commit to putting SA back on track

2012-12-09 10:00

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Thirty leading South African business executives have warned that “our country is in danger of unravelling”.

They’ve committed to doing their bit to put South Africa “back on track”.

The chairpersons and chief executives of AngloGold Ashanti, Old Mutual, FirstRand, Nedbank and Merrill Lynch, among other companies, have invited South Africans to join them in creating “a South Africa we can all be proud of”.

The group has taken out a newspaper advertisement in which they commit to supporting the National Development Plan so it can achieve its goals of tripling the size of the economy, lower the unemployment rate, and tackle poverty and inequality.

If these issues are not tackled, they warn in the advert, “our country is in danger of unravelling”.

The mining sector is represented by Mark Cutifani of AngloGold Ashanti and Norman Mbazima of Kumba Iron Ore, while telecommunications is led by Telkom chairperson Jabu Mabuza and Vodacom’s Peter Moyo.

Tiger Brands’ chief executive, Peter Matlare, is also throwing his weight behind this effort.

FirstRand chairperson Sizwe Nxasana also signed up, together with Old Mutual chief executive Ralph Mupita.

The group acknowledges that “labour relations are under stress, some have lost confidence in our country’s long-term success and trust has to be rebuilt in key areas of our society? ... We can renew faith in our country”.

They have pledged to “promote a zero-tolerance approach towards bribery, fraud, corruption and anti-competitive business practices”.

They also want to pay more attention to the state of education.

“Our overriding goal will be to ensure that the school and university systems equip students with the skills they need to find good jobs and compete in the global marketplace.”

The government will have to step up its game too, they say.

“We urge government to leverage and effectively implement existing policies and visions. Where appropriate, we will provide technical and management expertise, and will closely support the public sector to meet these goals.”

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