South Africa: Rebuilding Leadership Is the First Step to Delivering On SONA Commitment


President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address on 20 June 2019 was remarkable partly for its simplicity, its clear commitment to addressing fundamental quality-of-life challenges, and direct reference to building human and institutional capacity. It may have been short on detail, but it offered direction and prioritisation.

Since the 2008/9 economic downturn, the question "What is the 3% growth plan?" often comes up. And when in doubt, call in the economics A team from Harvard or Cambridge! But what needs to be done is well known. The most critical question is about how to generate economic momentum.

None of the rest matters if the economy isn't moving. But economic analysis is not what is required. Experts in the vexed question of public management and performance are needed.

Generating momentum is critical, and will require a vigilant focus on building leadership capacity and on doing things in a way that is more engaging of an active citizenry.

The first question that must always be asked in respect of a great idea is: "Who is going to lead and are they enabled and accountable?"

President Cyril Ramaphosa last year wrote:

"It is tempting to unleash novel policy directions but it is...

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