Time for Level Heads and a Steady Hand

As political parties continue to engage to form coalition partnerships, SEIFSA joins the broader business chorus emphasizing the importance of prioritizing the interest of the country over narrow political interest.

In the medium to long term, the election outcome means that the country will be governed by arrangements between political parties. We strongly urge the negotiating partners to take heed of South Africa’s priorities which at this stage include: the public debt trajectory which will be influenced by maintaining a prudent fiscal path and consolidation, the need for macro-economic stability, the importance of investor confidence, sound public and private partnerships. Unemployment, especially amongst the youth, remains a serious matter requiring urgent attention which ultimately cannot be redressed without investment and growth.

South Africa is now facing a defining moment in its political trajectory, with the business sector well positioned to contribute to firmly placing South Africa on a path to inclusive growth and job creation. The business community has a vested interest in the growth and competitiveness of the South African economy. The basic truth is that long after coalition negotiations have ended, business and government will continue to have an almost symbiotic relationship in which business’s gains leads almost inevitably to government’s gains. After all, it is prosperous business that employs more people, while failing business ends up letting go of workers and eventually closing shop. Logically, therefore, it is fundamentally in government and business’s interests that the South African economy – and the metals and engineering sector – is successful and internationally competitive.

The mission for any emerging coalition, must be to create an enabling, clear and predictable economic environment that our country, battered and bruised over 15 years of low growth, so badly needs.

SEIFSA has no illusions that the negotiations between opposing political parties will not be easy. It is our hope however that they will continue to bargain in a mature and constructive manner, with the interest of the country and, in particular, of the metals and engineering sector in mind. After all, our democracy, whose thirtieth anniversary we celebrate this year, was itself a product of compromise.

South Africa has much to be proud of, including a strong democratic spirit, robust media, resilient judiciary and a business class willing, able and prepared to lend much more than a helping hand.

 

For further information please visit: www.seifsa.co.za

 

About SEIFSA:

SEIFSA is a national employer federation representing 18 independent employer associations in the metal and engineering industries, with a combined membership of over 1 300 companies employing over 170 000 employees. The federation was formed in 1943 and its member companies range from giant steel-making corporations to micro-enterprises employing fewer than 50 people.