Bonang Mohale: Minister Patel on stronger ground if he broadens his focus

06/09/2017 | By Admin

WE NOTE Minister Ebrahim Patel’s comments last week about the high cost of economic concentration, collusion and anti-competitive practices in the economy.

Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) agrees with the Minister that there is no room for such practices in the economy.

We announced last month, an integrity pledge committing members to the highest standards of behavior beyond what it is required by the law.

We are committed to driving inclusive economic growth which helps deconcentrate the economy and accelerates transformation of ownership. These are key pillars of the contract that BLSA announced last month as part of its #BusinessBelieves campaign.

The minister, however, would be on stronger ground if he broadened his focus. The greatest distortions to the economy lie not in the private sector but in the public sector with state owned enterprises.

The costs to the economy that arise from the high prices of electricity at Eskom, for example, dwarf any private sector distortions. Government is also pursuing many policies that drive up costs; on these the minister is silent.

BLSA is committed to the creation of an open, enterprising and competitive economy that serves all its people.

Minister Patel would do the country a service if he recognised that business is a force for good in South Africa.

We call on government to work closely with business and all social partners to address the challenges of corruption and state capture.

Published in The Star