We need to engage in a people's initiated imbizo or bosberaad to find solutions to SA's productivity predicament.

2013-08-24 14:39

We need to and, yes we must, engage in a people's initiated imbizo or bosberaad to find solutions to SA's productivity predicament. For the sake of our children's future if not ours. Government initiatives aside, I believe that you and I ordinary South Africans who battle the odds to feed and fend for ourselves are relevant to a national discourse. So why not?

Let me stir the hornet's nest. Are SA's stringent labour laws the problem to our lagging behind the BRICs nations from a productivity point of view? I don't know, so I am asking. Imagine you and I being invited to participate in a national imbizo or bosberaad as we witness our economy and especially our capacity to be productive slip further down compared to Brazil and India.

Caveat

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The purpose of this blog is to engage South Africans from those trained in the economy to ordinary South Africans, you know, the salt of the earth type so as to find common cause as to why or what are the factors keeping us in the very bottom of Africa's upwardly productive countries. Your take on this would be interesting. Lets forget about corruption and crime. We also know about the parlous state of our education system. Are our labour laws to blame?

Lets join in a national conversation. Lets imagine we are in a people' imbizo or bosberaad unfettered by party politics or ideologies of race, religion, colour or creed.

What do you think s so dreadfully wrong that we remain at 2.8 % instead of 15 % like Brazil? What do you think is the solution to narrowing the unbridgeable gap between the rich and the poor?

Introduction

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In the world productivity index, SA lags far behind Brazil,Russia,India, and China who together constitute the BRICS economic constellation.Being its newest member,there is something awfully wrong particularly considering the ever widening gyre between the rich and the poor.What is wrong? Are our human rights oriented laws too stringent so as to be the problem If we use China as a template that is. Why are we so far behind if that's not it?

Some sobering facts

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South Africa was ranked the 52nd out of 144 countries in the 2012/ 2013 World Competitiveness Report, released on 7 September 2011 up from 54th in the report for 2010/2011. However,whilst the latest ranking is a welcome improvement, we cannot ignore the reality that South Africa has fallen significantly in the World Competitiveness rankings over the past few years. (Source:www.stanlib.com/EconomicFocus/Pages/SouthAfricaranked50th and http://www.southafrica.info/business/economy/globalsurveys.htm#.Uhi5GssaySM#ixzz2ctUwIs3L)

So where is the problem? I am no economist but does one have to be to know that there are weaknesses such as, inter alia labour market efficiency that our country will have to address to further enhance its competitiveness Why? because the more competitive we are the greater is the possibility to close the poverty gap.

Oh and yes, its traditional strike season in South Africa.With the automative industry on shut down and the gold industry to follow suit,we need to think solutions even though most of the demands appear unrealistic or unsustainable.

Lets, for the sake of our and our children's future engage and join the conversation.

Thank you.

Saber Ahmed Jazbhay

follow me @jazlaw24

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