South Africans need their country and its economy to be properly understood by global markets and decision makers. Would business do a better job of telling the SA story than the state?
South African business leaders say they are impressed by the way the ANC government is reaching out to them as it looks to the private sector to rev up a stalled economy and implement that National Development Plan.
Here’s a transcript, minus the opening protocols, of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s keynote at the inaugural Siyabonga Awards in New York on October 7. He was speaking to business, US and South African.
Team South Africa in the US has launched the Siyabonga Business Awards to recognise Global South Africans and American companies and NGO for their contributions to the growth of the South African economy. This year’s GSA awardees were Soula Proxenos and Albert Maartens.
“We have achieved some great things in our miracle nation, but there is much more to be done,” says Soula Proxenos, co-winner of the 2014 Siyabonga Global South African Award. “For all of us who have had privilege and opportunity, we need to give back.”
It has been a tough year for South Africa, Investec CEO Stephen Koseff has been telling investors in the US and UK, but government has a good plan and is working closely with the country’s dynamic private sector to see it implemented.
What to believe? And ad that baldly states that South Africa is a great place to invest? Or the hundreds of US companies that are already doing business there? Here’s an ad I’d love to run.
South Africans are markedly happier about the state of their country than they were 12 years ago, according the Pew Research Centre’s latest global attitudes survey. They also also more upbeat about their economic prospects.
At the start of what it is calling “the fifth administration”, South Africa’s ruling ANC has heard the wake up calls it has been getting from markets, rating agencies and, when the May election results are parsed in detail, the voters.