Business and government have a dysfunctional relationship in South Africa – a key reason why the country’s economy is in trouble. A good business-government relationship is essential for faster growth and mass employment.
More than 20 years into South Africa’s democratic era, business has been unable to find effective ways of articulating and defending its interests and activities as a vital contributor to national development.
South Africa cannot hope to achieve economic or employment growth with a government that is anti-business. We need a merit-based, professional civil service that understands business and markets.
Companies and business organisations need to reassess their role in South Africa and their own contribution to the flawed relationship with government. The silence of business leaders and their organisations is not a good strategy for a country in trouble.
Business should be more active in public debates and civil society. Specifically, business needs to come up with its own agenda on black empowerment, poverty and inclusion.