SACCI welcomes the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan as announced by President Ramaphosa. 

We appreciate the President’s acknowledgement of the challenges faced by the economy, together with the elements that need urgent attention to set the economy on a positive trajectory. 

The elements of Infrastructure development, Energy Security, Human Capital optimization, SME prioritization, smart financing and domestic Manufacturing have always been the hallmarks of SACCI’s engagement with the government at various levels and the economic cluster in particular. 

These plans will depend on the ability of the state to execute. Planning alone will not be adequate. In our view, many of the ideas proposed by the President are good, but will be constrained in taking off, without fixing the human capital equation. 

Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, old Hong Kong, Russia, Australia, and Israel are 8 of the non-western countries that have, in the last 100 years, managed to move their countries from “developing” to “developed” economies. By doing that, they managed to lift millions of their people out of poverty and high unemployment. 

The one visible distinguishing common denominator in the success of these countries has been the culture of not compromising on building a meritocracy. The majority are not endowed with natural resources as South Africa is. 

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry calls upon the President to take the bold step of commissioning an independent, professional and deep audit, assessment and evaluation of the current skills-set in the public sector managerial cohort. 

This, to check for fit and purpose, in line with the template for delivery. 

This independent professional assessment should also include an honest evaluation of the senior level public sector compensation structure, both extrinsic and intrinsic, its competitiveness and alignment with the ability to attract the right skills required to drive this recovery and reconstruction 

In addition to this, the public sector should embark on a clear, well defined and codified values and culture programme, to drive the high-performance ethos that is a condition precedent to any sustainable successful turnaround. It is culture and the values that are at the centre of any successful organizational renewal. Right skills, Right Culture and Right Values. 

It is common cause, that the biggest weakness the state has shown to date is its lack of capability, in selection, recruitment and the retention of the right people, performance management and the creation and maintenance of the right enabling high performance culture to drive sustainable delivery. 

Additionally, the apparent lack of effective leadership development and training of cabinet ministers, premiers, MECs, Mayors, and top level senior servants, is another critical area to improve on, as it creates the big lacuna, with the challenges, responsibilities and performance expectations the top leadership carry. 

As the most representative business formation, The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry is looking forward to engaging and working together with government at all levels as well as other social partners, in delivering the vision of a successful and prosperous South Africa. 

Contact: Alan Mukoki 


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