10 February 2017

South Africa: Entrepreneurship in South Africa - Sitting Backwards On a Donkey Riding Further Away


To get higher levels of growth, South Africa needs investment. That will not happen if entrepreneurs are held up as villains who cause other people to be poor.

Last month the British charity, Oxfam, made headlines with a report suggesting that inequality is South Africa's greatest economic problem and that wealth redistribution should be a greater policy priority for the government than economic growth. To bolster public and media support for their report, Oxfam pegged it on the sensationalist sound bite that the three richest South Africans have more collective wealth than half of all South Africans.

The report was fuel to the fire for journalists, politicians, and activists who insist that the relative prosperity of the few in South Africa is responsible for the poverty of the many. Until wealth is confiscated and equally redistributed, they allege, the poor will never be better off. Economic growth, it is alleged, benefits only the rich, with Oxfam itself saying that the South African economy benefits only 1% of the population at the expense of the 99%.

Oxfam is a very well-resourced organisation with income last year of around R1-billion. Unlike other development organisations, it actively seeks to promote a particular set...

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