Fin24

'Kill corruption, create new wealth'

2010-09-19 09:06

Johannesburg - Leaders of some of the country’s top companies are optimistic that the country can achieve its 7% growth target, but they admit that some things need to change.

City Press spoke to the leaders ahead of the ANC’s national general council, which starts on Monday and is expected to tackle the transformation of the economy and its growth path.

The chief executive of Naspers [JSE:NPN] (the owners of City Press), Koos Bekker, said the country was spending most of its time redistributing the wealth created in the past instead of creating new wealth.

“Our peers in Brazil, India and China are growing their economies by at least 7%, and so can we.

“The only requirement is that we kill corruption. Every new venture involves investment, pain and risk. No entrepreneur will take that risk if the fruits of their labour can be taken away by corrupt officials,” he said.

“We’ve already seen corruption destroy growth in the mining industry. Neither local nor foreign investors are prepared to invest in new mines when the president’s family can pull a Kumba on you,” he said.

Bekker was referring to the recent controversial empowerment transaction where Duduzane, the son of President Jacob Zuma, and the Gupta family (the president’s friends) benefited from a mining licence under questionable circumstances.

Bekker said: “So while mining is blossoming, almost everywhere else in the world, our growth in mining has been killed off by corruption. If this spreads to other industries, we’re in deep trouble.”

Standard Bank Group [JSE:SBK] SA chief executive Sim Tshabalala said banks could do a lot to grow the economy.

“The growth rate will depend in large measure on the relative competitiveness of SA,” he said.

Tshabalala said banks could play an important role in helping local businesses raise money to fund their investment initiatives.

“Facilitating more trade flows and cross-border payments would be helpful,” he said.

The executive director for business sustainability and transformation at petrochemical company Sasol [JSE:SOL], Nolitha Fakude, said emphasis should be placed on supporting industries in manufacturing and -infrastructure development as they had the potential to create a large number of jobs.

“Government and business should support the industries that will create labour-intensive jobs,” she said.

Fakude said focus should also be placed on small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) development because of their ability to create jobs.

Vodacom Group [JSE:VOD] chief officer of corporate affairs, Portia Maurice, said the country needed to radically improve its skills base and match it to its economic needs.

“Our country should improve its productive capacity, infrastructure capabilities and country competitiveness,” she said.

- City Press

For more business news, go to www.citypress.co.za.
    

Comments
  • No to labour - 2010-09-19 09:30

    I disagree on focussing on labour-intensive industries. Labour is the most expensive, least efficient production input, and no economy can reach its full potential by relying on labour alone. Yes, people need jobs, but they need to create those jobs by utilising the other production inputs efficiently. If they do indeed continue to focus on labour (as I'm sure they will), they must focus on keeping labour costs reasonable. That means no more inflation plus 10% increases, more productive workers, and a crackdown on unions.

  • willem - 2010-09-19 10:19

    yes corruption is the main problem.in rural limpopo we have been waiting for 2 years for just a answer on wheter we can expand our business or not.we are still waiting.water electricity infrastructure none existant.7 % growth not achieveble under these sircomstanses SORRY! PS WE WILL INVEST ONLY WHERE THERE IS INFRASTRUCTURE .I.E WATER ETC AVAILEBLE NEXT TIME

  • Duck - 2010-09-19 10:45

    Who is this man? That is the most well-spoken truth I have heard in ages! I want to give this man a Bells and a high five!

  • Airwolf - 2010-09-19 10:54

    " ..investment, pain and risk" is a completely foreign concept to this government. Creating wealth is just too much hard work, and requires skill. Redistribution of existing wealth that others have worked hard to create is a far easier proposition. They can also get rich by doing this without the pain of forward thinking, hard work and risk taking. I seriously doubt this can change. We have the benefit of history to know this.

  • Lialo - 2010-09-19 11:20

    The so called leaders of our country and industry have tasted the fruits of greed and will not be able to go on a diet. they will continue to breed and live off the fat of the land as long as there are white cows and entrepreneurs to milk. I am one of the milking cows and will continue to graze because I love this country and have hope that one day the south african revolution will do the same as the french revolution, clean the slate. Viva!

  • Jacques Otto - 2010-09-19 11:22

    I Dont think the ANC cares about craetion of Wealth. This does not get them the imidiate vote. Redistribution of wealth creates a centiment under their followers that ownership of the economy is transformed. This ANC is not based growth or basic services. The ANC is based on deviding the nation. The more promises dont get kept the more radical policy becomes to take rather than create. Cresting wealth woul mean to be patient. The ANC however never looked to the future meaning a long term outlook will not win elections. Radical transformation is their only option as their voters have run out of patients

  • dylan - 2010-09-19 12:00

    what a good article, because it is all so true, if the main focus of the countries leaders is the redistribution of well and growing the market, we are going to fall far behind. but i think that means nothing to our leaders as long as there pockets are well lined. the problem is a hard stance on corruption will never be taken, because the people that need to take that stance are the most corrupt of all.

  • wins - 2010-09-19 12:51

    The ANC and it's alliances must realise one thing! The newer educated majority of SA is more and more beginning to realise what a bunch of idiots and liars they are. They are stealing from the poor and enriching their families and counterparts. I hope that these extreme government criminals, instant millioneres will be investigated and harshly punished, when a proper honest party takes over the rains.

  • Bear - 2010-09-19 13:02

    You cannnot creat jobs until you have created and established markets. In this coutnry its first "how much is in it for me?". Can banks actually think we are so dumb to fall for all their clap trap about helping the small medium businesses yet have not the vaguest idea what Ventrue Capital really is all about.? Until the totall racist policy of EE and BEE is removed in its present form then we have a lot of smart ideas goig down the drain and next to no growht let alone 7%. What arte these guys smoking? "Look-around-tobacco?" .

  • georgie - 2010-09-19 13:15

    I agree with Duck about Otto's comments. The ANC have parasitic ideas byt aking away wealth and redistributing it. Noa t a single tender gets awarded on merit. Not even sport. Comapnies appoint people becuase they are the right colour and or gender. In the end it has a negative effect carrying this people. It pulls down the economy to a socialistic level which implies sharing nothing with evrybody

  • Reveal Them All - 2010-09-19 13:20

    A MAJOR CAMPAIGN AND DRIVE TO BEGIN ERADICATING CORRUPTION IS REQUIRED. INSTEAD OF JUST TALKING WE HAVE BEEN WORKING ON WAYS TO EXPOSE THESE CRIMINALS AND WHITE COLLAR CROOKS REGARDING THEIR CORRUPTION AND CORUPT ACTIVITIES. BE IT IN GOVERNMENT ON ALL THREE TIERS OR PRIVATE SECTOR IT MUST BE ERADICATED. WE HAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS WHERE ALL WHISTLE BLOWERS CAN REPORT ANY FORM OF CORRUPTION AND IT WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE RELEVANT INVESTIGATIVE AUTHORITIES FOR INVESTIGATION. THE WHISTLE BLOWER WILL BE SAFE AND WILL NEVER BE EXPOSED IN THE PROCESS. THE EMAIL ADDRESS IS: revealthemall@gmail.com. Please feel free to send info anonymously for investigations to begin.

  • Greg - 2010-09-19 13:43

    My business will never employ people no matter what happens. I could not be bothered with the hassle of sorting out staff as an entrepreneur trying to make money with a labour system that is time consuming and onerous for small businesses. No amount of legislation will force people like me to employ other people, I have leant my lesson the hard way.

  • George Nowak - 2010-09-19 13:53

    Commentators have often warned the government that we should learn from Zimbabwe and other failed economies. The Post-Polokwane government has embraced the concept and initiated curbs on press freedom, rampant theft from the fiscus and mines nationalisation. They've learned the methods, not the lessons.

  • PORKLITICIAN - 2010-09-19 15:09

    “The only requirement is that we kill corruption. Every new venture involves investment, pain and risk. No entrepreneur will take that risk if the fruits of their labour can be taken away by corrupt officials,” he said. I would love to give this man a HUG!!!!!!!

  • Philani Lubanyana - 2010-09-19 15:20

    "As we approach the end of the first decade of our new democracy, the need for an economic transformation that brings about effective and significant black economic empowerment, becomes more pressing” Dr Thabo Mbeki former president. “The government will lay greatest stress on black economic empowerment that is associated with growth, development and enterprise development and not merely redistribution of existing wealth."Ibid. The fallacious notion that seeks to suggest that only government is corrupt is baseless and it need to be challenged. Yes we’ve got challenges with regards to corruption but it is not only happening in public sector. The private sector needs to changes its attitudes with regards to economic transformation, it allows view BEE and other related economic transformation legislation as threat rather than an opportunity. Yes we can grow our economy beyond 3% but with thousands of us unemployed graduates excluded from the main economy that is pipe dream. The private sector is always complaining about skills shortage but they are not utilizing unemployed graduates! The main reason why the nationalization debate is on the table is simple because economic transformation has failed. Economic transformation is a must if we want our economy to prosper we cannot continue excluding the majority of our people in the economy and hope that things will be smooth. Philani@Umlazi

  • Faithy - 2010-09-19 15:26

    kudos to Mr Koos Bekker... exactly what SA needs to do, kill corruption. I swear if u run for president i will vote for you.

  • Tony - 2010-09-19 18:15

    The ANC does not care about this country just power, votes and getting as much money out as they can. Education, health, infrustructure etc.... are falling apart. Problem is we are in a viscious cycle as the more they do not deliver on impossible promisses, the more people get upset, the more radical the response has to be to keep power, these responses destroy competitive elements of the economy, jobs, destroy growth and benefit a few or blame rich/big business/race etc, and yes they fail to deliver again, so the whole cycle just gets worse.

  • @Philani Lubanyana - 2010-09-20 08:17

    Please stop spouting useless ANC/ZANU-PF type propoganda. The facts speak for themselves. "Transformation" = Apartheid. Both are crimes against people based on spurious racial discrimination. Why has mining boomed in the rest of the world over the past 10 years but not in SA? The answer is quite simple. It is because we have a corrupt and essentially criminal government in power...the so-called "predator" state. It is similar in behaviour to the ZANU-PF regime in Zimbabwe...

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