South Africa has lost its position as the premier economy in Africa and is left “fighting for crumbs” from international investors, with business being the country’s only hope for salvation.
This is the view of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) president Bonang Mohale who spoke to Newzroom Afrika about the negative impact of the recent spate of truck burnings in South Africa.
South Africa is no longer the gateway to Africa and the conduit for trade and investment in the continent, which is hurting the economy.
“We are fighting for crumbs from international investors when we could be the biggest economy in Africa,” Mohale said.
This is echoed by Business Leadership South Africa Busi Mavuso, who said the test for whether the country is succeeding is attracting foreign investment.
South Africa has been losing a lot of investments to East Africa. “We are no longer the destination of choice for investors wanting to invest in Africa,” she said.
This is because many local and global investors have lost trust in the country’s growth prospects and the government’s ability to address South Africa’s significant problems.
The current government inherited the continent’s largest and most developed economy, which has been turned into the third-largest economy behind Nigeria and Egypt.
“This is because of our short-sightedness and greed, corruption, and stealing from those in power”, according to Mohale.
South Africa has the highest unemployment rate in the world, the highest level of economic inequality, and the highest rate of failure among small businesses.
“We hold world records for all the wrong reasons”, Mohale said, “We continue with these own goals and self-inflicted harm.”
Public education has collapsed, public healthcare continues to fail South Africans, crucial infrastructure is deteriorating, and crime and lawlessness have become an epidemic.
The solution for Mohale is clear. “Business is not South Africa’s second chance. It is our last chance.”