South Africa: Elias Masilela - Private Sector Should 'Stop Bickering' and Become Part of the Solution

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The slow pace of South Africa's economic reform has been criticised by prominent business leaders, but the National Planning Commission's Elias Masilela questions whether the private sector is doing enough to support the government in its efforts to change the country's economic trajectory.

Prominent business leaders have become frustrated with the glacial pace of South Africa's reform over the past 18 months under President Cyril Ramaphosa, lamenting ongoing bailouts for state-owned enterprises such as debt-laden Eskom, deteriorating public finances, and mounting policy uncertainty.

In recent weeks, Business Unity SA president Sipho Pityana and Nedbank CEO Mike Brown, have criticised government's indecisiveness in cutting spending, its ballooning public sector wage bill, and its lack of action in shaping an environment conducive to private sector investment.

However, one man tasked with advising the government on economic policy and implementation believes business leaders and the private sector, in general, should "stop the bickering" and become "more involved" in fixing South Africa's socio-economic issues. His remarks are also aimed at labour and civil society.

Elias Masilela, who focuses on economic policy and analysis for the National Planning Commission (NPC), says while business leaders publicly criticise the pace of Ramaphosa's reform agenda, they are not...

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