Gigaba moots penalties for tardy SOEs
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says the country needs developmental coalitions if it is to undertake the drastic measures required to recover economically.
Speaking at a business breakfast ahead of the official start of the national policy conference in Nasrec‚ Johannesburg‚ Gigaba promised the business community that the gathering would discuss an action plan to be launched in a few days‚ aimed at boosting business confidence.
Some of the initiatives to be undertaken to realise transformation include the channeling of 60% of government business to black audit firms and a coordinated government value chain system that would help previously disadvantaged business people gain access to markets.
Although he admitted that neither these goals nor the National Development Plan would come to fruition if government needed to “push an unwilling private sector through legislation”.
“Unless we take drastic measures now‚ we will not escape the low growth trap. We may have to seek assistance from quarters we have thus far avoided‚” Gigaba explained.
He said the government would also explore the introduction of penalties against state-owned companies that worked against the rise of small businesses by not paying them for services rendered on time.
Alexander Forbes’s Bonga Mokwena‚ who is also a member of Business Unity South Africa‚ said the time wasted on debating the merits and demerits of radical economic transformation could be better used to find solutions to the economic gridlock in the country.
He said the need for a fast-tracked form of transformation was a given.
“It is important that we do not waste our energies and time to argue and debate how we define this challenge‚ what do we call it. It’s amazing the amount of energy we spend on a simple thing‚ whether we call it inclusive change or radical‚ the fact is‚ whether we call this challenge radical‚ or inclusive - it does not change that in 23 years the progress we made is not adequate.”
The ANC’s radical economic transformation policy will be one of the main issues discussed during the five-day conference‚ which will also dedicate two days to analysing the state of the ANC.