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Good Business Basics: The time for action is now


The rescue of our economy and arrest of the death spiral we appear to be in needs to become a national project. We have had enough resources poured into planning over the last 24 years, and the time for action is now.

Between the National Development Plan (NDP) and Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) to name but two at national level, and the various boards and committees which support them, one shudders to estimate the costs involved.


This is not even considering similar plans that are created at a provincial, district and local level – Provincial Growth and Development Strategies (PGDS), Integrated Development Plans (IDP), all supported by an army of technocrats and consultants.

The sums involved are staggering, and if even a small fraction of that money was spent on actual projects, there is little doubt that we would have had a better return on investment than the millions of pages gathering dust in record rooms across the country.

There are many things that can be done immediately, without mountains of new research and reports:

 All government departments must immediately enforce the 30 day payment commitment to suppliers. It is reported that R7,2bn is owed by all spheres of government to suppliers, mainly SMMEs. This is R7,2bn that is not circulating in the economy, and supporting new enterprises.

 The budget of the entire government machinery (national, provincial, local and SOEs) must be reprioritised to ensure that service delivery is the priority, not perks and privileges of management and staff and other non-essentials.

Enhance the capacity of the Special Investigating Unit and others to pursue perpetrators – recovery of ill-gotten gains should be a priority

 The National Executive must take control and resolve bottlenecks: the finance minister bewailing the delay in allocating digital spectrum is no help – the president needs to instruct line ministers to fix problems, or show them the door. Delays in work permits for skilled professionals? Give the minister of Home Affairs a deadline to resolve this or find someone who can. The president needs to assert his executive authority.

 Ensure that support measures are being provided speedily and efficiently – too many viable applicants are being discouraged or closing down in the face of delays and enormous red-tape for funding and other support. The DTI and other development finance institutions such as the IDC and DBSA are doing the economy no favours by their inefficiency.

 Accelerate steps to recover money that has been embezzled on a grand scale at SOEs such as Prasa, Transnet, and Eskom. The boost to the fiscus will be matched by recovery in the confidence of the nation and external that of external stakeholders.

** After matriculating, Vijay Naidoo studied Economics in the UK. Upon his return, he joined the family construction business as MD for 10 years.

He subsequently joined his sister in their furniture manufacturing business as director for quality assurance and operations. He was responsible for all quality aspects of their products, and led the project to the business achieving an ISO 9000 quality accreditation. As an export focused business, this was important for our international competitiveness.

Mr Naidoo has an abiding interest in quality management and productivity improvement, particularly in manufacturing.

More recently, he has focused a lot of his time on giving back to the community by way of mentorship of small businesses and sitting on the executive of the South Coast Chamber of Commerce. He also sits on the Board of the Ugu South Coast Development Agency.



Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER

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