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NEWS
Henley offers scholarships to investigative journalists
Henley offers scholarships to investigative journalists

5 trends that can keep the South African MBA relevant
5 trends that can keep the South African MBA relevant

We need to realign government, business and civil society
We need to realign government, business and civil society

Life as a full-time MBA student
Life as a full-time MBA student

Brexit delay provides breathing space for SA
Brexit delay provides breathing space for SA

MSA joins the ADvTECH family
MSA joins the ADvTECH family

SA plunges to 117 out of 149 in gender wage equality
SA plunges to 117 out of 149 in gender wage equality

UCT’s Executive MBA recognised for its distinctive approach
UCT’s Executive MBA recognised for its distinctive approach

GIBS Executive MBA programme debuts in top 50
GIBS Executive MBA programme debuts in top 50

Can Africa fill the glass?
Can Africa fill the glass?

YALI AFRICA launch at Unisa
YALI AFRICA launch at Unisa

The fake resurrection of South Africa
The fake resurrection of South Africa

Don't panic: The digital revolution isn’t that unusual
Don't panic: The digital revolution isn’t that unusual

Why Agile works
Why Agile works

How firms can avoid the mediocrity trap
How firms can avoid the mediocrity trap

How a 100000-strong company is relearning how to innovate
How a 100000-strong company is relearning how to innovate

The changing shape of the MBA
The changing shape of the MBA

Adding climate change to curriculum is a top priority
Adding climate change to curriculum is a top priority

The MBA should turn you into a business disruptor
The MBA should turn you into a business disruptor

Innovation in SA organisations driven by C-level support
Innovation in SA organisations driven by C-level support

UNISA SBL a torch-bearer of training for military veterans
UNISA SBL a torch-bearer of training for military veterans

Scaling up the MBA for relevance in the 4IR
Scaling up the MBA for relevance in the 4IR

Moody's: SA not out of the woods yet
Moody's: SA not out of the woods yet

GIBS manufacturing-focused MBA kicks off in Durban
GIBS manufacturing-focused MBA kicks off in Durban

Henley’s Makhoalibe selected for sought-after programme
Henley’s Makhoalibe selected for sought-after programme

Personal potential, a source of power
Personal potential, a source of power

Reach your business leadership potential with a MBA from WBS
Reach your business leadership potential with a MBA from WBS

MPC: SA needs a period of stable interest rates
MPC: SA needs a period of stable interest rates

SA’s energy problems just the tip of the iceberg
SA’s energy problems just the tip of the iceberg

What's really driving disruption?
What's really driving disruption?

Why has there been such a failure of leadership?
Why has there been such a failure of leadership?

Steinhoff: Exactly where does responsibility stop and start?
Steinhoff: Exactly where does responsibility stop and start?

The cure for the loneliness of command
The cure for the loneliness of command

How to survive in the age of digital transformation
How to survive in the age of digital transformation

New MBA timetable starts in 2016
New MBA timetable starts in 2016

EVENTS
Henley MBA & PGDIP Preview Day
Henley MBA & PGDIP Preview Day
29 May 2019,
Pretoria

UCT GSB MBA Information Sessions
UCT GSB MBA Information Sessions
15 October 2019,
Johannesburg



03 MARCH 2019
Where is South Africa headed?
by Luleka Mtongana
Against a backdrop of muted economic growth and uncertainty around the upcoming national election, it remains to be seen whether South Africa can return to a path of stability and growth.

A panel of prominent South Africans from business, academia and the media convened at GIBS to consider what the year ahead may hold.

An economic turning point?

“We need to see the beginnings of real change in 2019. We want to see a turning point,” Konrad Reuss, Standard and Poor's Global Ratings MD for Africa said.

The country would need profound and lasting change in order for the rating agency to consider a revision of its foreign and local currency credit rating he added.

While S&P has kept South Africa’s outlook at “stable,” continued weaknesses were evident in persistently low economic growth and sizable contingent liabilities, which weigh on the country’s fiscal prospects and debt burden.

“In the recent Medium Term Budget Policy Statement we saw an acknowledgment of flatlining trends, a mild recovery in growth and recognition that something is wrong with State Owned Enterprises. In all of these aspects we need to see change,” Reuss said.

Xhanti Payi, economist and director at Nascence Advisory and Research said large infrastructure projects could boost economic growth. “We need to allow people to be participants and get engaged so as to have growth first, then investment will follow. We have to look for a different way of doing things.”

Bobby Godsell, former chair of Business Leadership SA and former chairman of Eskom said the parastatal, which is under severe financial strain as it struggles to service its R400bn debt, used to be a brilliant national asset but had gone through two periods of policy sabotage. However, “Eskom can be fixed and it will be fixed,” he insisted.

National elections and the political landscape

Global politics had been characterised during the past year by the rise of identity politics and growing populism.

Politics are “astonishingly broken,” Godsell said, and added, “We are already paying the price of political uncertainty with fragile economic growth. South Africa must get its act together as we face one of the most hostile global environments I can remember.”

Ebrahim Fakir, director of programmes at the Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute explained there were multiple scenarios for South Africa’s 2019 national election. “I am not convinced that you can put a policy trajectory onto the Ramaphosa administration, it will rather simply be a period of stabilisation, he said.

In the run-up to the polls, Fakir said South Africans should be increasingly vigilant against fake news: “There is going to be a lot more heat before there is any light,” he said.

Fakir described the country’s three main political parties as “useless” and said South Africans were faced with a dilemma on who to choose to vote for.

“The ANC is completely fractured, and while there are some ethical leaders left, there is also pushback from every corner against Ramaphosa,” he said. The EFF are factionalised into three groups: Those who want to go back to the ANC, those who want to adopt an attitude of wait and see and the small minority within the party who genuinely believe that it is an alternative project.

The DA is “rudderless, leaderless and undergoing a massive identity crisis.”

The only party that can promote stability in the short term is the ANC, and “that’s if Ramaphosa’s party allows him to,” Fakir said.

“We are moving clumsily and reluctantly into an age of coalition politics,” Godsell argued and proposed a cross-party coalition of the “rational centre” of the DA and ANC. “On tough policy issues we need the best in the two parties working together,” he said.

Reuss said South Africa had a weak social contract and a contestation for resources. “The next logical step would be a confrontation. How much time do we have left to avoid this?” he asked.

“There is a conflagration going on, every day. South Africa experiences 800 protests a year,” Fakir countered. He said not all service delivery protests were about service delivery, but rather the fact that the interface between local government and the people had broken down. “There are far too many people in the country, such as coalface public servants and teachers, who simply don’t do what they are supposed to do every day.”

Andile Khumalo, CEO of the Brodkast Group and former managing director of POWER 98.7 said South Africa lacked adequate leadership, whether it was in the sphere of politics or business. “If you fail us, we are going to remind you. South Africans are a lot smarter than our politicians often think, and we show that every day when we talk on social media,” he said.

“Having more South Africans connected to the internet is the most positive thing that can happen to our country,’ he added.

Leadership requirements for 2019

South Africa didn’t necessarily have an absence of ethical leadership, Godsell argued, but these leaders were not always in the spotlight. “We need to give them space, and to encourage and applaud them.”

Monhla Hlahla, director of companies and Chairperson of both Royal Bafokeng Holdings and Denel SOC Limited said the solution to the country’s problems rest with all of us: “It is not true that decisions can only happen if they are made by politicians. We all need to do our part, where we are, to turn things around. There is hope in this country, and there is hope for this economy because we are here.”
Source:

Gordon Institute of Business Science
Making an impact to significantly improve the competitive performance of individuals and organisation through business education to build our national competitiveness. GIBS is a leading business school in the heart of Sandton’s business hub, offering a wide range of executive and academic programmes. Visit our InfoCentre or website.

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