At the annual Seifsa Presidential Breakfast on Friday, October 7, President and Chairman of the Steel and Engineering Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa), Elias Monage, said the country facing severe economic hardship, it is more important than ever for the organization to call for a more business-friendly environment.
LR: Elias Monage, president of Seifsa, judge Malala, political analyst, and Lucio Trentini, CEO of Seifsa
“These harsh economic realities underscore the important role that business leaders must play, and more importantly, the role that Seifsa must play in representing its members in lobbying for a much more conducive and business-friendly environment,” said My age.
Holding government accountable
Although Monage acknowledged that little could be done to change the headwinds of the global economy, he said that “domestic policies – which are frankly their own goals of bad policy choices and bad economic management – are between the hands of decision makers. And this is where Seifsa must continue to play the important role of holding government accountable.”
At the local level, the energy crisis has crippled the economy and deterred much-needed investment, while “the rising cost of capital that will reduce national economic activity and the poor state of local government, affecting service delivery to businesses and influencing the costs of doing business, are all headwinds facing the sector – and at present, only intensifying,” Monage warned.
South Africa’s Deepest Failures
Also speaking at the breakfast, political analyst Justice Malala called on participants to fasten their seat belts, then walked them through some of South Africa’s deepest failures – the energy crisis, the impending water crisis, the riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July 2021. , youth unemployment of 65%, xenophobia, a widespread crisis of confidence and many more – all of this contributes to a deep distrust of the ANC, the government and its institutions.
Malala warned that in the face of all these challenges, “the main risk is that people lose faith in democracy itself”.
Some positive news
But he mentioned there was “some positive news”, including censorship from consulting firms McKinsey and Bain following what was revealed during the Zondo commission into the state capture. “The battle to defeat corruption seems to have been rejuvenated,” he said.
He called the Zondo commission “a victory for law and order”, adding that the judge had done an outstanding job despite many challenges.
Businesses have a huge role to play in addressing these challenges, Malala said. “Seifsa, as an organization, and many others have a key voice” and can provide the country with a “way forward”.