Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

3 February 2014

South Africa: To Get Ahead, South African Economy Needs Entrepreneurial Spirit

analysis

Nigeria has an undeniable entrepreneurial energy that is easy to see. By contrast, South Africa seems stuck with the idea that entrepreneurial behaviour is something difficult and hard to manage - and virtually impossible to encourage. As the economic news in South Africa continues to throw up sobering numbers and as the educational system sends hundreds of thousands of ill-trained, ill-educated young people out into the world, is it time for a real rethink on this? J. BROOKS SPECTOR, who spent a few months in Lagos, contemplates these questions.

Over the past several weeks, I have attended several conferences and briefings on the state of South Africa's economic circumstances and the prospects for its future. Sadly, each was more negative than the one that preceded it. Moreover, each of these came along before the recent precipitate slide in the Rand's value and that sudden, unexpected increase in the SA Reserve Bank's prime rate that - together - would seem to foretell still more bad news just around the corner.

Consistently, forecasters have been insistent on pointing to the economic fundamentals that must be set right if things are not to go seriously awry economically. These include addressing the current accounts...

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