By Standard Bank
Standard Bank notes that the African National Congress has elected a new leadership and National Executive Committee. We congratulate the new Top 6 and NEC members.
As the ANC is the governing party, the choices it makes are of great importance for all South Africans. The ANC’s policy decisions and style of governance are the most important influences on the performance of the South African economy.
What the ANC decides now, and how it implements those decisions, will largely determine whether more inclusive and more rapid growth will be possible – or whether our economy will continue to stagnate.
As a leading contributor to the economic development of our country, Standard Bank has a right and a duty to argue for policies and approaches to governance that will reverse South Africa’s economic decline and that will foster the conditions for much faster and more inclusive growth, more job creation, and further transformation.
Far-reaching structural reform is urgently required. We call on the new-elected ANC leadership to adopt policies and set the direction of government to:
• Reinforce Constitutionalism and the rule of law, and ensure that the appropriate authorities take quick and decisive action against public and private sector corruption
• Prevent the fiscal deficit from rising to unsustainable levels and start a credible process of fiscal recovery. This requires reinforcing the authority of the National Treasury, improving the quality of revenue collection and of public expenditure, and reducing the government’s contingent liabilities arising from debts of the State-owned Enterprises
• Reform the governance and management, and strengthen the capital and liquidity structures, of the State-owned Enterprises
• Stabilise and modernise the regulatory environments in the mining, energy and communications sectors
• Clarify rural property rights and accelerate land reform
• Implement a sustainable system for financing tertiary education which enables all academically qualified students to study.
Taking these steps will restore business and consumer confidence and will enable South Africa to grow fast enough to prevent unemployment and poverty from worsening.
To set South Africa firmly on the path to prosperity, we also require new large-scale investments in infrastructure by both the public and private sectors. Major reforms of our primary, secondary and vocational education systems, of the health system, and of many local, provincial and national departments and agencies are needed. We will not be able to generate the resources required for these larger and longer-term projects unless we implement the urgent reforms listed above.
Standard Bank remains entirely confident in the strength of South Africa’s democratic institutions and the future of the South African economy. We are committed to supporting the transformation of South Africa into a more equitable and prosperous society. We look forward to engaging with the new ANC leadership on these and other policy matters and to continuing to play our part in achieving inclusive and sustainable growth.