NATIONAL and international economic “news” would indicate an insurmountable uphill battle where most things are beyond our control. Low growth forecasts, rising unemployment, looming recessions, et al, fill the business publications. South African manufacturers, blaming cheap imports, predict further declines in manufacturing activity. Discussions between government, labour and business at the highest level result in the same intellectual mumbo jumbo statements about concerted efforts to jump start economic growth and create jobs. More committees, forums and study groups are put together while more and more South Africans suffer due to rising unemployment, income inequality and lack of economic opportunity.The classic definition of insanity is continuously doing the same thing but somehow expecting a different result. If cheap imports lead to job cuts in the manufacturing sector then for heaven’s sake stop doing it. The South African economy will never grow sustainably without an expanding manufacturing sector. The South African economy will never grow sustainably unless the retail sector actively promotes locally made goods.Focus on these two issues will provide the growth jump start so desperately needed. If this sounds simplistic then perhaps we need to remember that the essence of profound insight is indeed simplicity.In closing, a huge thumbs up to all at Hibiscus Coast Municipality for achieving a clean audit as well as the award for Consistency in Excellence. In the South African context we, as residents of the Hibiscus Coast, don’t realise how fortunate we are to have a municipality to be proud of. Sure there are issues but these awards reaffirm that we need to focus on solutions and not dwell on the problems..