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SONA: SA needs more than just a 'to-do' list

Feb 15, 2022



by Gerhard Papenfus


Three quarters through the State President’s State of the Nation address, I switched off the television.

I simply could no longer listen to the President who, like an overzealous middle-manager, went through his drawn-out to-do list, well knowing that very little of his assumed intentions will see the light of day.

South Africa is in desperate need for a new approach, a new attitude towards work and conducting business, a break with the failures of the last decade and longer.

Business needs to create jobs, and workers need to work. Assistance in the form of grants need to become the absolute exception, rather than the rule. The payment of grants, except for the sick and old, need to become something to be ashamed of, not something to be proud of.

Crime has to be rooted out, and many government officials need to be inspired towards a fresh approach, towards the notion of excellence in service delivery and not only passing time whilst on the job.

The spirit of entitlement which has poisoned the populace, the expectation of getting something for nothing, the notion of being rewarded for loyalty to the party, all forms of tenderpreneurship, race-based appointments and -procurement, which have hollowed out and bankrupted the state, need to be done away with. Unless this is done, there simply will not be the capacity to execute any of the President’s plan.

South Africa needs to embark on an entirely new path. A mere list of tasks does not suffice.

Gerhard Papenfus is the Chief Executive of the National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA).

For more information:
NEASA Media Department


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