Busa Calls for Action On Govt´s New Growth PathAllAfrica.com | Dec 2nd 2010
Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) has cautioned government that concrete action needs to accompany the country´s new growth plan.
"We know what the problems in the economy are, it is time for action," BUSA CEO Jerry Vilakazi told media during a briefing on Thursday.
BUSA met with Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel on Monday to discuss the new growth plan.
The plan aims to create five million jobs in the next 10 years in strategic areas of the economy, including the green economy, agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism industries.
BUSA said before wheels could be set in motion, skills development, education and inclusive wage setting had to first be put in place in order to meet long-term targets.
The body´s Deputy CEO, Professor Raymond Parsons, said that they had reached consensus on the need for a more stable, competitive exchange rate, strengthening of public delivery and the development of infrastructure, among other things.
Asked about BUSA´s standpoint on state intervention in the economy, Vilakazi said: "Every government has a mandate from its voters and certain responsibilities it must carry out.
"If you create a state that is constantly interfering and not allowing free enterprise to develop within that economy, then you have a problem. We would caution against an over emphasis on an intervening state (because) that will create uncertainty in the minds of investors."
BUSA raised concerns about the creation of a state mining corporation and state owned bank as reflecting low confidence in the private sector. BUSA suggested that there should be focus on fixing existing structures before creating new ones.
On the issue of caping salaries, as suggested by the new growth plan, Simi Siwisa, Economic Policy Director at BUSA, said that targeting salaries alone without looking at the structure was risky.
"We believe we have to take a sober look at salaries. We must caution against unintended consequences," she said, adding that the country was competing globally for talent.
The plan proposes moderate wage settlements for those who earn between R3 000 and R20 000 a month. It also suggested the capping of bonuses paid out to senior managers.
Link to online article: AllAfrica.com