My grandmother is 105 this year too!

2017-01-07 10:43

Ineptitude is the biggest indictment hanging over the heads of leadership in South Africa today. Even an announcement of matriculation results, can't be concluded without cynicism, and barrage of criticism for the Department of Basic Education. Chivalry and good intent exist in pockets and we as a people continue to miss the tide of progress as our humanity continue to be denied a center that pulls it together.

Logic is Most Uncommon 

Its easy for logic to fail us when we consider the challenges we are confronted with as a country. The heart is in constant conflict with the brain as we filter through the issues defining our country today. Consider that:

We have an economy that grew around 0.4% in 2016 with a forecast less than 2% in 2017. This performance is also affected by the adverse events like an untimely and unskilled NPA announcement, a minister recall here and there and those rating agencies, that forever land in the country with headlines. This creating environment that would make a savings account a lot more safer environment than the economy.

Then there is the promise of innovation and a knowledge economy as the saviour of humanity in South Africa. However those companies willing to innovate are small to medium and most of the innovation in the economy is imported. In fact the research community speak of an innovation chasm, where research work never mature to innovation in the market place. The most telling of this gap was the closing of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR), where research capacity was developed and the country was leading in the use of technology in developing nuclear plants for power generation. This we now know was followed by the call to source nuclear reactors from another economy, at a cost the economy can't afford and through a brokerage system that has the country in an uneasy state.

There are 200 000 first year study opportunities for both diplomas and degrees in South Africa. This is against 400 000 or so pupils from the class of 2016. Reflecting capacity challenges that exasperate a lack of pragmatic higher education sector capable of turning  the fortunes of 65% of the country still leaving in under R 750 a month. Those without historic money and social capital remain most likely to be excluded from the system.

Then there is the question of manufacturing and Industrialization. A sector with a job creation potential but no prospects in the current climate for the country. In fact the innovation chasm mentioned before would mean that when the world is dealing with the forth Industrial revolution, we would still be struggling with the second and third revolution.

In the year of my grandmother's birth, Mina Hlabahlaba, South Africa had recently turned in to a union and the prospects of the country were dire. I thank God for her long life and the blessing she has been. One thing she does do, is give perspective to how old the ANC is - every wrinkle tells a story.

The founding of the ANC at the time was not to create a liberation movement but to create a forum that would tabulate challenges confronting the black public at the time. Even the subsequent visit to Great Britain to deliver the memorandum was an intellectually though-out idea, that understood the importance of leadership in managing the affairs of man. They create a structure that would be consulted within black society.

Job creation is a new challenge and logic says we are doomed and no meaningful culmination of events will lead to a solution. I, in fact, venture to say that markets wont correct the situation in time for this generation to thrive and as Keynes said in the long run we all die.

The new challenges for this country today are to make the whole work and not just to advocate a position of a section of society. This is particularly challenging, since that section of society is still the most economically oppressed section. The agenda though is to make the economic redress an equation that remains a win-win trade-off between interventions and social justice. A critical win-win is to make new money with new industries and new innovations and include the broader society, with old money realising its role in achieving this.

Happy anniversary to the ANC!

Be inspired SA!

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