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Not all doom and gloom in SA

23 October 2012, 14:18


Proclaiming that South Africa is in crisis is absolutely ludicrous and illusory. It’s also ill-starred for so-called critics to blame the current situation to the country’s leadership, writes Proffesor Ndawonde.

Despite the current perturbing labour turbulence which has had an unfavorable impact on the country’s economy, South Africa is not falling apart as many analysts and opposition parties proclaim. 

Meanwhile the article “Sad South Africa - Cry the Beloved Country” published by the UK magazine the Economist is deceptive and a distortion of the truth. It is utterly unseemly to allude that South Africa is on a downhill slide.

The country may have received a downgrade from two rating agencies, but so have many other countries even in Europe and elsewhere. It is the sign of the times. The world is going through a period of serious economic upheaval, not only South Africa.

South Africa is therefore not immune from economic, social or political challenges at certain periods, more so given the legacy arising from colonial oppression and apartheid.

There are several factors that government detractors should put into consideration before enunciating groundless and misleading assertions on the state of the country and of the economy.

Firstly, considering the current negative global economic conditions, South Africa as the country which has strong partnerships with most affected international economies, particularly the European countries, is likely to be affected.  

South Africa is one of only 10 countries with which the European Union has what are called strategic partnerships as a result of that the current economic calamity and debt problem in that part of the world have drag on to South Africa. 

It is therefore fundamentally imperative for to clearly understand the developments unfolding in the world, particularly in Europe, and what potential impact they could have on the South African economy, the job situation, growth prospects and other socioeconomic factors.

The European economic crunch does not only affect South Africa but also influential international economies such as United States and Europe, it’s therefore enormously dogmatic for Democratic Alliance leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko to blame the current situation to President Jacob Zuma’s leadership.  

It is equally chauvinistic for schismatic commentators and puerile politicians to blame the current situation to government’s effectiveness and to the policies of the African National Congress

In fact, government should be commended for its efforts to avert the European dire situation to have a total effect to the country’s growth.

The country’s leadership is equally concerned by the current industrial environment and socioeconomic situation, this anomaly is receiving the highest possible priority and attention from government.

Another factor that validate that South Africa is not in crisis is that the country remains a viable investment destination and remains open for doing business. This was unconditionally confirmed by UK Secretary of Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable.

Mr. Cable alluded that British companies based in South Africa have not been shaken by the ongoing strikes and the recent Marikana tragedy because they believe the country is a good place to invest in the long term.

Meanwhile President Zuma recently proved his leadership capabilities by convening high level strategic meetings with business leaders, labour, government and community representatives to discuss the challenges South Africa faces, based on slowing global growth, the industrial relations environment in the country, and the need to speed up the fight against poverty, inequality as well as unemployment.

The parties agreed to take steps to improve public and investor confidence in the economy and to promote social stability, using their respective resources and capacities to build a partnership for development.

This high level dialogue agreed on measures that will help restore normalcy in the economy especially mining, while also dealing with the social inequality and poverty that which cause frustrations amongst the people of South Africa.

Last week South Africa received a strong vote of confidence by the international business community with the country's recent inclusion in Citigroup's World Government Bond Index. South Africa has attracted strong flows of foreign investment into its bonds as investors have switched to emerging markets. This is a total opposite of what has been proclaimed by the certain international media, analysts and the opposition.

In the recently issued World Economic Forum Report on Global Competitiveness that benchmarks the performance of 144 nations, including South Africa, the country performed particularly well against the report's financial pillars. With regards to financial market development, South Africa ranks first amongst the BRICS nations, and 3rd overall in the world.

South Africa is not in crisis. However the ultimate factor that as people of South Africa should debate is how we could overthrow the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality that face our beloved country without politicizing the situation and misleading the distressed masses.

Proffesor Ndawonde is a Government Communicator, and is writing on his personal capacity.

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