CDE’s new report, A country in crisis: First steps towards a growth strategy, builds on our diagnosis of SA’s anti-growth-strategy, and urges government to focus on three core issues: improving security and the rule of law, addressing the crises in energy and logistics, and stabilising public finances.
These three priorities must dominate cabinet meetings, the President’s diary, government’s budgets, and become the substance of every government communication.
The essential precondition of growth in South Africa today is that you can’t start to rise until you have stopped falling.
No country can expect to grow with a security situation as bad as South Africa’s. It is essential that the country develops the capacity to resist the mafias in construction and other sectors and to allow the state to protect itself from rapacious elites.
To address the energy and logistics crises, government must address the technical, managerial and governance deficits in both Transnet and Eskom while putting in place the foundations of market-driven solutions that will replace the existing monopolies.
Despite government’s commitments to reduce the deficit, far too little has been achieved. Spending cuts are now required accompanied by a rollback of most commitments to higher levels of spending.
To get to a point where we can expect these changes to be urgently and effectively implemented, we need leaders that place the interests of the country at the heart of their agenda, led by a President who is backed by a committed, credible and unified team that understands how to transform and bed-down change in complex systems.