Gordhan urges South Africans to turbo-charge efforts

Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan (Netwerk24)
Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan (Netwerk24)

Johannesburg - South Africans need to “turbo-charge” their efforts, ideas and financial resources to create greater economic momentum, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said at the Discovery Leadership Summit 2016 in Sandton on Monday.

In his view there needs to be a revolution in SA’s business culture.

“We need national consensus that our inequality is unacceptable, our economic participation rate is unacceptable and our unemployment rate is unacceptable,” said Gordhan.

Gordhan focused on the need for economic growth to be supportive, rather than disruptive, and for it to be as inclusive as possible. Questions should be asked about who benefits from gross domestic product growth, he suggested.

Business ethics need to be raised so that there is a definite “no-go zone” across all areas of the public and private sectors. He said leaders need to do some serious reflection and promote economic inclusivity in a more organised and structured way to enable more people to enter the economy and “make go of it”.

At the same time South Africans should be proud of their fiscal sovereignty, but must now work together towards finding their own ways to generate economic growth through improving confidence, increasing investment and deepening inclusivity.

“We can be very proud that we don’t borrow from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – we get this from having a tax-paying culture, the conscientiousness of our citizens and an effective tax and treasury administration system,” he said.

“Our collective focus now has to be to grow our economy. The key is to create unity of purpose. We need to have a culture of sharing, contributing and benefiting.”

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Gordhan said South Africa has many good things going for it and has big opportunities for growth in areas such as agriculture, tourism, the oceans economy, science, and space technology and infrastructure development.
 
“What kind of country do we want? There is a rich mix available to us, depending on the choices we make,” he said.

“It is important for us to do a lot better at implementation – we are good talkers. The National Development Plan is not lost, it is incorporated into the medium-term budget policy framework, but it needs to be pushed more assertively. Become active, become involved, become aware – it is our constitution, it is our country, our future.”

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