Business commentary Colin Proudfoot, OneWay Business Services

2016-10-20 06:00
Colin Proudfoot, OneWay Business Services

Colin Proudfoot, OneWay Business Services

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MOST economic indicators continue to underline the stagnant situation facing the South African economy. Unemployment figures are rising, the manufacturing downturn persists, new vehicle sales are down and latest figures show an unanticipated trade deficit in August.

The country also faces increasing disruptions at tertiary education institutions and, at the time of writing this column, it was not clear whether classes would resume at the country’s two biggest universities.

The possible loss of an entire year in the tertiary curriculum would have a significant negative impact for all stakeholders.

The political scene also remains tense and almost in limbo with unresolved leadership issues in the top echelons of power. Some of the more outspoken business leaders have openly castigated the politicians for not “coming to the party” as business, government and labour seek to find ways to ignite economic growth.

South Africa is widely regarded to have one of the most progressive constitutions in the world.

We have a national development programme (NDP) that spells out in considerable detail how the country needs to go forward to achieve a better life for all its citizens.

The plan covers everything from the economy to education, health care, infrastructure development, social support and redressing past inequalities.

Where are we going wrong? What is happening to the “rainbow nation”?

The other day I read an article in a supplement to The Mercury.

The article was by Colleen Dardagan and the report covers a speech by Wang Jianzhou (KZN’s Consul-General for China) at the launch of the Brics Business Schools Association in Durban.

Speaking on China’s phenomenal economic development since 1979, Jianzhou said:

• “Our reform started in the rural areas.”

• “We have strong leadership.”

• “The people are prepared to work very hard for a better life.”

• “We invested in training and practical skills.”

• “We introduced mass entrepreneurship.”

• “People were not waiting for handouts from the government.”

The Chinese economy has grown at an average of 10% a year since 1979.

The political scene also remains tense and almost in limbo with unresolved leadership issues in the top echelons of power. Some of the more outspoken business leaders have openly castigated the politicians for not “coming to the party” as business, government and labour seek to find ways to ignite economic growth

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