The national elections of 8 May 2019 have come and gone, and South Africans from all walks of life have exercised their constitutionally enshrined rights to vote to choose a leader and political party of their choice. They voted peacefully, freely and without any fear, unconstitutional influence or intimidation in making their choices. The elections were peaceful. SACCI congratulates the IEC, the political parties and all South Africans for yet another well-executed election.
The pronouncement by the IEC, local and international election observers and political parties that the elections were free and fair, seems to be well received by most South Africans. The pronouncement to the contrary by the other political parties may seem trivial but cannot and should not be ignored by the IEC. SACCI recommends that the substance of the allegations, trivial as they may seem to some, be investigated thoroughly and addressed so that the election processing incorporates and addresses the areas of concern raised, and staff is trained and developed to manage such, all to counter any possible risks that the parties in question have complained about. The credibility of elections in South Africa are a critical pillar of the mature state of democracy that the country has had every right to boast about. It is critical therefore that the IEC does whatever is necessary to maintain its globally acclaimed state of credibility.
Although South Africans voted for different parties, their hopes, fears and concerns are the same – they all hope for a higher growth rate in the economy, they all hope for policies that foster the creation of more jobs, better healthcare and education, reduction of crime and corruption; and broadly elimination of social injustices and an improvement of the lives of ordinary people. The country has most of the foundations and fundamentals necessary to make all the above-listed elements a possibility. All that is needed is implementation. The mandate that has been given to the ANC as the winning party, and especially the President by South Africans, is to form a government that serves all South Africans regardless who they voted for, in addition to a mandate to win the confidence of all the stakeholders locally and internationally, a government that is fully capacitated and empowered to implement policies that achieve economic growth and all the other mentioned elements. The appointment of a team of skilled, experienced and dedicated ministers and government officials is paramount. South Africans and all its stakeholders wait in anticipation to see what kind of team the President will announce to manage and lead the government. SACCI recommends the appointment of officials who are free of any taint of corruption or nonperformance, as this alone will boost the confidence of business in the new government. An increased business confidence level is among the most important foundations of a growth economy. It is when business confidence is high that immediate decisions are made to work hand in hand with the government and all other stakeholders to grow the economy. Businesses would not hesitate to make short, medium and long term investment decisions that create economic growth and jobs if they have confidence in the government.
SACCI recommends the appointment of a team that comprises a mix of expertise/experience and youth/energy. SACCI also strongly recommends immediate adoption of measures that prevent corruption and measures that quickly and swiftly detect and harshly deals with corruption and nonperformance.
SACCI and its affiliate chambers and corporate members are looking forward to engaging the new provincial and national government officials in the achievement of economic growth for the betterment of South Africa.