Clem Sunter

10 issues the ANC Policy Conference should address

2017-06-30 11:51

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Make no mistake. The ANC Policy Conference this weekend comes at a crunch time for our economy.

The red flags are going up everywhere: from the recession we are in; to the fact that we now have 17 million grant recipients compared to 16 million people in employment which cannot be sustainable; to the constant conflict around the composition of SOE boards; to the downgrading of our country by the ratings agencies; to the potential water shortages in key areas and cities.

Yes, we are in a crisis and we need to admit it.

As the Chinese say, out of every crisis comes an opportunity. In this case it is an opportunity for the ANC to move away from the issue of who is going to be the next leader, to coming out with a statement after the meeting about how the top 10 most pressing issues facing the country will be tackled.

Short and sweet, no political ambivalence, no blame game: just a positive vision of the turnaround strategy and the actions to be taken over the next 12 months to make it happen.

Here are my top ten issues:

1.       What are we going to do to improve the quality of education and make it more relevant for the job market that exists today? What technologies can we use to make good teachers go a long way?

2.       How are we going to create the space and support system in our economy for a new generation of African entrepreneurs to set up businesses in South Africa some of which will become international world class enterprises?

3.       How will we turn the answer to question 2 into reality? Will it be purely about implementing the NDP or do we need an economic Codesa to get general buy-in to the concept?

4.       How can the fight against corruption be intensified so that we do not end up experiencing the tragedy of Venezuela today where citizens are walking across the border for food?

5.       How do we begin the process of transforming land ownership in the most positive way so that skills are not lost and food security is maintained?

6.       How do we copy China in establishing an infrastructure that allows the economy to grow at a minimum of 5% per annum and in particular address the problem of water becoming a scarce commodity in these times of climate change?

7.       How do we get National Health Insurance on the road so that we become the country envied in the world because of the quality of universal health care we offer? The National Health System in the UK copies us rather than the other way round.

8.       How do we come up with new approaches to law and order so that we are perceived as a much safer country by our own citizens as well as foreigners?

9.       What can be done to overcome the problem of xenophobia and to fast-track the application for permanent residence by would-be migrants to this country?

10.   How can municipalities attract high calibre personnel so that they all get a clean sheet in the annual audit process at the same time as delivering on all the basic services they are supposed to provide to the communities they look after?

I encourage readers of this column to add other suggestions as this list is not complete and we are at the biggest tipping point since we became a democracy in 1994.

Read more on:    anc policy conference  |  ancpolicy17  |  ancpolicy
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