Letter: Empower the disadvantaged, not the cadres - Businesslive

19 July 2020 - Finance minister Tito Mboweni continues his lonely campaign for structural change (“Structural reforms — not spending — are the best way to achieve growth”, July 14). Yet SA finds itself at its current juncture largely due to choices made by the government and the ANC. To deliver a sustainable future, new choices will need to be made.

Finance minister Tito Mboweni continues his lonely campaign for structural change (“Structural reforms — not spending — are the best way to achieve growth”, July 14). Yet SA finds itself at its current juncture largely due to choices made by the government and the ANC. To deliver a sustainable future, new choices will need to be made.

Structural reforms will not be possible without corresponding policy reforms. Expropriation without compensation threatens businesses while offering nothing to address the deficiencies of land reform — and the underlying idea that the state can confiscate private property has arisen in spheres other than land. Until this is taken off the table SA will struggle to get the investment it needs, both foreign and domestic.

Empowerment policy is a cost to doing business in SA and has failed to drive either growth or substantive inclusion. It should be fundamentally rethought and replaced with a system that encourages investment, risk-taking and the upliftment of the poor. We propose just such a policy, which we have called Economic Empowerment for the Disadvantaged.

A professional, depoliticised, meritocratic civil service must be realised. This requires, above all, a change on the part of the ANC and the abandonment of its toxic practice of cadre deployment. Cadre deployment is an affront to the constitution and cannot be “done better”.

These steps are a necessary foundation for a high-growth, prosperous future. Without them, any structural change will remain an abstraction. And, as Mboweni has previously said, without such change it is “game over” for SA.

Terence Corrigan
Institute of Race Relations

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2020-07-19-letter-empower-the-disadvantaged-not-the-cadres/

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