South Africa: Build a Capable State, Don't Just Talk About It


There will be a direct improvement of our growth, employment and resulting welfare through distributional gains if we empower our state by improving the institutions that carry it and improving the quality of individuals that work in it.

In a speech given to the Business Unity South Africa Business Economic Indaba in Sandton on 14 January 2020, Kamal Ramburuth-Hurt, one of the young leaders invited to challenge delegates, argued that while there are weaknesses within South Africa's political discourse, particularly in the lack of accountability, representation and vision - we are not in a political crisis. "We have a functioning democracy that is alive and well." Instead, he says: "The crisis in South Africa sits in the lap of our economy. Stagnant growth, crippling unemployment and gorging inequality deep enough for any kind of social compact to crash into violently." This is what he told delegates:

As more and more of them fail, we are becoming increasingly aware that our state and its institutions are an integral part of strengthening South Africa's economic growth. Over the past two decades, public expenditure has increased on Human Development (like healthcare and education); and on the upper end of the public wage bill...

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