Zuma used business as a scapegoat, says BLSA's Bonang Mohale | Fin24
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Zuma used business as a scapegoat, says BLSA's Bonang Mohale

Apr 24 2018 20:30
Carin Smith

Cape Town - South Africa is lucky to have been able to reclaim the country from a president (Jacob Zuma) who used business as a scapegoat and called it the enemy, Bonang Mohale, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), said on Tuesday.

He was speaking at the launch of the Western Cape chapter of the organisation, an independent forum through which prominent business leaders engage key players to create effective dialogue with government and other stakeholders.

'Ramaphosa is SA's last chance'

"President Cyril Ramaphosa is business friendly. South Africa has been given its last chance with Cyril. So, it is up to the business sector to increase engagement. If this engagement goes well, there is hope for the country," he said.

"The aim should be for the 17 million South Africans who receive social grants to be enabled to reach their potential by getting jobs. These jobs can be created by business."

He believes that if the opportunity brought by the Ramaphosa era is not used properly, business in SA will end up in some sort of no man's land.

"So, we launch BLSA Cape Town against this backdrop. Business must use every moment to capitalise on this last chance and demand to be heard," he said.

On the road forward, he sees the protection of any whistle blowers about corruption or state capture as important.

Worse off now than after end of apartheid

"Even though we have renewed hope and enthusiasm in South Africa, our state-building exercise must be redoubled. We are worse off today than when we inherited the administration after the end of apartheid," he said.

"Nelson Mandela inherited a technically bankrupt country, but within the first year we quadrupled the economy."

Mohale is also concerned about what he calls "tax morality" deteriorating in the country.

"People want to know what is being done with the tax money they pay," he said.

In answer to a question by Fin24 about the role BLSA will play in the run-up to the national election in 2019, Mohale said the organisation will hold government accountable.

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blsa  |  bonang mohale  |  jacob zuma  |  business  |  sa economy


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