Things generally An Economy with the facts
As a meticulously impartial observer and recorder of what goes on in our industry and world, we continually resist the temptation to editorialise in these pages. Our rivals over at The Economist are not so scrupulous, however, and sometimes at a pinch we exercise the right of reply. So to The Economist which this week spoke direly about the prospects of our potentially great nation, we say: spot on, to a point. They identified the abysmal leadership of the ANC and the patronage of the party-appointee system as key factors in our sluggish economic growth and moral and social decline, and wring some pretty convincing hands about South Africa’s descent into one-party-statism. This as ratings agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgraded South Africa’s sovereign debt rating, citing concern over mining strikes, underlying social tension and regulatory uncertainty. But in fairness, The Economist piece was pretty one-dimensional, overlooking major pockets of excellence in business and civil society which are keeping us afloat. In our own industry we look to leaders like Gareth Ackerman, who seldom fails to make a sober and measured pronouncement on the issue of the day, and Grant Pattison who engages robustly and productively with government while building a business that is both profitable and responsible. To those names could be added others like Peter Matlare in manufacturing, Mamphela Ramphele and Jonathan Jansen in education, Mark Shuttleworth in technology, Clem Sunter, Moeletsi Mbeki and Joel Netshitenze in thought leadership, Trevor Manuel and Pravin Gordhan in finance and millions of others who lead their businesses, their communities, their churches, their teams and their schools to a better place every day.
Comment: Comment: These South Africans are too big, strong and beautiful to allow the little, grubbing leaders of a single political party which has outlived its vision and its will to service, to drag us down the dusty route <em>The Economist</em> has smugly mapped.