Communists in South Africa must be popping the corks of their champagne bottles as they witness the dream of a state-run economy coming true.   Socialists must be wearing a wry smile as, despite their belief in a mixed economy, they do have reservations about the profit motive.   Why all this celebration?   Because the big picture suggests that, with some illustrious exceptions, the decline and fall of the private sector is happening before our eyes.

The above extract is taken form Clem Sunter’s latest article The silent death of the private sector first published on the website of News@24 today.   It makes for very disturbing and distressing reading and the full article is a ‘must-read’.


The flags are going up everywhere:

  • South Africa is no longer seen as the premier investment destination in Africa.  . . . ;
  • Graphs shown by economists at seminars indicate the destruction of jobs in the private sector over the last five years offset by growing public sector employment and government grants.   . . . . ;
  • The hikes in electricity tariffs – past and future –  are completely undermining our competitiveness as a nation.   . . . ;
  • New small business formation has stalled as a result of lack of support for entrepreneurs and over-regulation.   . . . ;
  • Cadre deployment and corruption have shut down many opportunities for the real stars in the private sector to be awarded state contracts.   . . . ;
  • Hard times in the global economy combined with the growing anarchy in the workforce (where even established unions are no longer listened to by employees) have seriously squeezed many of our resource businesses which are a prime element of our economy.   . . . ;
  • Unrestricted imports are causing havoc in our textile and food industries, lowering production capacity and making the nation more reliant on the private sectors of other countries.   Farmers are dreading land reform and selling up.

I could go on, but I think I have given enough examples to show that something is rotten in the state of South Africa.   We need to reverse the downward slide immediately.   The only way we are going to do that is by having an Economic Codesa with measurable outcomes.   Please, Cyril, step up to the plate.   If you want to triple the size of the economy by 2030 and reduce unemployment by 6% – which is the objective of your and Trevor’s plan – you have to have a thriving private sector.   But you know that already.