Much still needs to be done

2016-12-06 06:01

THERE has been much in the news about a downgrade to junk status. The implications of a downgrade are multifaceted, especially in terms of investment into our economy.

Countries eager to invest in SA use the ratings as a barometer to gauge the amount of money they want to put into our country. The general rule is that countries that do not have their monetary and fiscal policies in place, where corruption is rampant and where the political climate is unstable, will be overlooked as an investment destination.

The recent announcement by Stats SA that our unemployment rate has increased from 26,6% to 27,2% is not good news for our country and economy. Our priorities in SA need to be refocused. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan needs to be left alone to do his job. If the Hawks and NPA feel there is a case against the minister or anybody else, they need to bring forth authentic evidence that will stand up in court. South Africa can no longer afford the use of state apparatus to settle scores. If this practice continues, the 55 million people of this country will suffer because of clandestine decisions made to the detriment of our country and economy.

For now, SA can triumph in the glory of not being downgraded thanks to the sterling efforts of Gordhan and his team, together with other stakeholders who clearly comprehend the ramifications of a downgrade. However, the reality off the situation is that we have staved off a downgrade temporarily. There is still work that needs to be done. With our fragile political leadership and spontaneous and destructive policy decisions, like firing and changing Finance ministers, together with issues of state capture, SA has a long way to go. Our economy is not growing at the expected rate, next year we are going to be taking on more debt and our political climate is continuously under scrutiny.

South Africa can only prosper if all, especially state institutions, remain focused on creating a winning nation. This obviously lends itself to sound and honest leadership.


VIJAY SURUJPAL

Phoenix

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