South Africa: Business Is the Shot in the Arm South Africa Needs

opinion

Who do you want distributing those vaccines - government or the private sector? Be honest.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

The contorted process of getting and paying for vaccines says an enormous amount about the state of government in South Africa today, both good and bad. Well, let's be honest, mostly bad.

It also raises another issue: the constitutional and transparency issues involved in the new rapprochement between business and government symbolised most recently by the establishment of the Solidarity Fund.

I should put my cards on the table. Unlike many in the SA commentariat, I actually like the idea of the respectable side of business and the respectable side of government working together, even if this takes place in a constitutional grey area.

Is this the ideal solution? Absolutely not. Given SA's State Capture history, it's understandable that citizens are goosey about decisions between business and government taken in the proverbial smoke-filled rooms. There are of course constitutional issues about government outsourcing to business functions it should be performing, like organising Covid-19 vaccines.

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