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South Africans need to be more committed to economic transformation

November 2, 2014

Friends, here’s something that has been bothering me for quite sometime now…

…personally I’m a little tired and annoyed by the lack of transformation at various levels of the economy and in many sectors/ industries of the economy in South Africa.

My take is relatively simple, far too many people don’t take the time to question their own prejudice…you have white South Africans continually making excuses about not being find “appropriately qualified” blacks (this in a country where in 20 years of democracy, we have 8 in 10 people are black Africans). Our country’s many universities are rated amongst the best in the world and are producing black graduates by the thousands, yet so many of these black graduates remain increasingly jobless and without career prospects.

Of late, you have a new phenomenon that sees middle class black South Africans in managerial or supervisory roles acting as gatekeepers to career opportunities by not showing commitment to the country’s transformation agenda.

The current status quo is unsustainable, you can not have a situation where the minority dominates the economy. There is a great need for balance, a parity point where the economy is accessible by all and the best people in the country find their way to the top regardless of race, gender, political affiliation or social circle.

An estimated 20 million people are not actively engaged in the formal economy and are forced to irk out a living in the informal economy. The state continues to under invest in the informal economy, yet can spend billions of rands in major infrastructure that sustains a status quo that keeps the majority out of the economy. Think about it – who are the real beneficiaries of projects like Gautrain, eTolls and even broadband rollouts.

It’s time we all accept that the future of the country’s economy needs to transform, because the greater majority of South Africans are not interested in a Julius Malema type of “economic freedom”.

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3 Comments
  1. Simon Morilly permalink

    While we accept that transfomation is a strategic imperitive, what are we wanting to transform into, be it in the realm of economics or demographic transformation? What does a transformed business model look like. I think that we have quicklly learnt that a short-term, quick fix of the numbers only is not the solution.

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    • My take on the questions you pose is that you (obviously) speak from a position of privilege.

      In the piece, I make it abundantly clear that some 20 million black South Africans remain on the margins of the economy. If transforming into something is not clear enough for you, then I hardly doubt you know what you’re talking about. VQ

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  2. I was working at company in jhb alway I must be at work around 7:30 to do filling sometimes I work over time but the money u can’t live so now I want to start my own company to manufacturing and great some jobs at our townshim for our brothers and sisters I just need funds can any investers help me THANKS

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