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South Africa becoming a failed state

Economic recovery is expected to take front and centre stage during finance minister Enoch Godongwana`s maiden National Budget Speech in February. 

 Although fiscal consolidation and other prudent budgetary measures are crucial, the country can`t ignore the link between the rule of law and economic reform, says business leader and chancellor of the University of the Free State, Professor Bonang Mohale

 Speaking in PSG`s Think Big webinar on Tuesday (25 January), Mohale said that South Africa`s current socioeconomic realities, coupled with the findings of the Zondo Commission`s report on state capture, are telling characteristics of a `failed state` – one that can only be pulled back from the precipice by decisive action and singleminded focus. 

 “When we take a step back to examine the evidence and what the Zondo Commission`s findings mean for broader society, we see that inequality is widening, racism is at an alltime high, black graduates are roaming the street unemployed, our public education and hospital sectors are in states of disrepair and the general climate in the country is one of lawlessness,” said Mohale, who also holds several notable board positions including chairmanship of the Bidvest Group. 

 "Before we consider whether South Africa is `recoverable,` we need to come to recognise the magnitude of the problem and acknowledge that as a country, we find ourselves at an allimportant turning point,” he said. 

 Mohale emphasized the link between socio-economic reform and future response from the independent judiciary, given evidence. 

 Finally, he argues that the centrality of justice for economic recovery should not be underestimated. He said the responsibility for setting a precedent for swift and decisive action now rests on the shoulders of an independent judiciary. 

 Business is central to creating future markets 

 Mohale strongly supports the need to adopt the National Anti-Corruption Charter, as well as government procurement including councils, process units and regulatory agencies. Is an independent anti-corruption agency for. , Courts and Special Appeals Court. 

 This is consistent with Judge Raymond Zondo's recent recommendations in the State Detention Report. 

 “When the loop has been closed on state capture and the guilty have been brought to book, a prime opportunity will emerge for businesses to take the reins and realise its role in promoting job creation so that the selfrespect and selfworth of so many struggling South Africans can be restored,” Mohale said. 

 “The business sector is not an isolated entity, it is in fact at the epicentre of creating the markets of the future. Our real market should be the 1.3 billion people in Africa who stand to benefit from instruments such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Until the broader African community reaps these rewards, South Africa will never stand true to the precepts laid out in the Constitution.” 

 Vaccine policy an example of missed opportunity for public/private partnership 

 Business, however, requires regulatory and policy certainty. 

 Here, the vaccine rollout serves as a good example of a missed opportunity on behalf of the government to allow the private sector to bring its economic strength and authority to the table, Mohale said. 

 For example, if he believed that the vaccine was in the hands of Roger Baxter, CEO of the South African Minerals Council, thousands of workers had access to the vaccine and were able to reach their 90-day goal. must. Mohale said 400,000 miners are suffering from a lack of access to the Covid19 vaccine because the 

 state is not cooperative in its deployment. 

 "These are the types of issues at the heart of socio-economic reform. These need to be swift and decisive for South Africa to stop the mass outflow of skilled workers and talent from the country in search of a better outlook. The problem is. 

 "People are businesses, not fixed facilities, products or services. Therefore, our challenge as a nation is not only economical, but also a challenge in terms of human resources and social justice, "he said. 

 "If the fisherman can't go out to sea, he will repair the net. You have to ask yourself," What are you doing now to fix the network? " How can we strategically position ourselves to be competitive when a recovery is seen? "

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Bonang Mohale. South Africa South Africas University of the Free State Zondo Commissions

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