The State of the Nation: Unplugged15 August 2017
Watch video: A hard-hitting panel on the state of the nation with Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank and Investec’s Stephen Koseff and Fani Titi.
What role can business play in helping to solve South Africa’s economic and political woes? And what can it do in conjunction with government? These were some of the questions discussed during the “Unplugged” session at the recent Investec Wealth Forum in Johannesburg on 8 August.
The panel, which was moderated by journalist, radio and TV presenter Redi Tlhabi, featured Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank; Stephen Koseff, Chief Executive of Investec Group and Fani Titi, Chairman of Investec.
While the state has an important role to play in setting and driving development goals, it’s crucial that this is underpinned by the highest standards of governance within state owned enterprises, our panel noted.
Furthermore, the State should help to create a climate of confidence in the system that will allow business to be an effective partner in achieving these goals; this includes allowing business to deliver certain essential services where it can do so more reliably and cheaply than the state.
Here are some of the key quotes and outtakes from the discussion:
- “The only way that business can create jobs is if there’s confidence. People aren’t going to invest if there isn’t confidence.” Stephen Koseff
- “Most of the problems in the state owned enterprises (SOEs) have to do with governance. There are a number of decently-run SOEs and none of them run to the Treasury for additional funding.” Lesetja Kganyago
- “The notion that for you to have development, the state must own, is wrong. The state must play the role it’s meant to play, which is to be a countervailing force in favour of the poor.” Lesetja Kganyago
- “You cannot sustain a prosperous country with the level of unemployment that we have. You have a revolution coming down the line.” Fani Titi
- “Business is committed to playing a role in achieving an outcome that is fairer, an outcome that is more prosperous for everybody. We believe growth is the engine that allows these goals to be achieved.” Fani Titi
- “The more we view unemployed people as a problem, the more we are not going to find a solution.” Lesetja Kganyago
Watch the video of the panel discussion here:
Here’s a breakdown of what topics are discussed when in this video:
- 07:00: Stephen Koseff on the collaboration between government and business, the CEO Forum initiatives and how crucial business is to drive growth
- 01:35: Lesetja Kganyago on why State-Owned Enterprises should be privatised if they can deliver more reliable and cheaper services to help government deliver on its development roles
- 03:50: Fani Titi on “accelerated inclusive growth” vs “radical economic transformation”
- 05:44: For a growth economy, “you need business to run with the ball” – Stephen Koseff
- 06:19: Lesetja Kganyago on the need for “political will and political leadership to drive a reform programme”
- 07:24: Lesetja Kganyago on how the treasury employs some of the “finest minds” in the country and how they should be left alone to do their job
- 08:00: Unemployed young people should not be viewed as a problem, they should be seen as a valuable resource pool with which to grow this country, says Lesetja Kganyago