Nation urged to ‘fix itself’ – Leslie Maasdorp

2012-12-16 10:00

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»?For our economy to grow, we need a good skills pool. We must grow our further education and training colleges.

We need to urgently ensure that the school and university systems equip students with the skills they need to find jobs and compete in the global marketplace.

Renewing the education system is difficult. We need to make significant contributions to the National Skills Fund.

»?We have enough corruption law. We need to be more effective in executing it. There needs to be a social movement against corruption and bad faith

in the public and private sectors.

Part of the problem is that there is a lot of doublespeak and hypocrisy in our pronouncements on corruption. We need swift and effective action on corruption, and we need to send stronger signals to those with no regard for propriety or probity.

Part of swift high-priority action would be dropping the futile distinction we often make between petty corruption and grand-scale graft, as both corrode our mores and values.

»?We need to acknowledge that we have a problem and that the social glue that should bind us together as a people has grown weak. Our bonds to each other are loose and our sense of a shared vision is poor.

It is not only the task of government to address the issues of social development and social cohesion.

It needs to be a societywide effort. Business needs to take a critical look at its contribution to social cohesion in South Africa.

»?The starting point for a discussion on job creation should be a discussion on how to grow the economy. It is only economies that are growing that

create jobs. The discussion about our growth trajectory has been kicked off by the National Development Plan.

»?Reducing unemployment to 6% by 2030 may sound like a big ask at the moment, but it is not an impossible one and other countries have succeeded

in this regard. South Korea was able to significantly reduce its rate of unemployment. If we adopt the appropriate economic policies, and address the

education and skills development backlogs that we currently have, we can achieve the kind of growth that creates jobs.

– Maasdorp is an international adviser to Goldman Sachs International

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