Pretoria – South Africa, as an emerging market, should get its house in order if it is to attract and support investment inflows, says Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.
“With the turbulent global economic environment, the attractiveness of the emerging economies from an investment destination perspective implies that we should get our house in order with regard to ensuring competitiveness and sound policy framework that is able to attract and support investment inflows,” Gigaba said on Sunday.
Speaking at the Black Business Executive Circle’s Kaelo Awards, the minister said the country’s economic and social infrastructure must also be able to rise to the occasion.
“South Africa’s competitiveness, in comparison with the Brics league, still needs a fair amount of improvement. In the past we have relied on our advantaged position as entry point and favourite destination as head office for African trade. We are fast losing that position and our attractiveness even in the African context is sliding backwards,” said Gigaba.
Brics comprises a powerful grouping of emerging markets including Brazil, Russia, India and China and South Africa.
Uncertainty in the current global economic situation has shifted focus to emerging economies even though emerging economies face enormous challenges.
“The implication for South Africa is therefore to galvanise its leadership and competiveness,” said Gigaba.
With South Africa’s battle against joblessness, poverty and inequity, the minister said state-owned entities have a meaningful role to play in economic growth.
“Contrary to some opinion, state-owned entities are not inherently inefficient and characterised by incompetency and corruption.”
There was a need for dialogue around how South Africa will achieve long-term and sustainable growth that will address unemployment, inequity and poverty.
“It will be very difficult to deliver growth if we fail to ensure that we are competitive as a nation and indeed as an economy, collectively.”
Transformation also needed to be addressed, particularly when coming to the success of black people.
“Black success has erroneously, although not fortuitously, been viewed negatively, as often as though it transpired from corrupt practices. Black success needs to be hailed and celebrated and must resolutely be defended in public as in private.”
The minister added that racism must be eradicated. “Even though our country might have made such enormous and impressive progresss during the 17 years, none of us who is black can avoid the daily recognition that racism continues to be a defining feature of what we justly call the new South Africa.” – BuaNews