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President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his maiden State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 16 February 2018. The annual speech kicks off the Parliamentary year and focuses on the country’s current political and economic situation. Regarding the latter, South Africa experienced deteriorating economic conditions during 2014-2017, and there is great hope for an improvement in economic growth during 2018 under the new administration.
As more South African politicians and policymakers call for “radical economic transformation” (RET) and others are suggesting “smoke and mirrors”, RET is not possible without a radical change in the way South African businesses see transformation as a whole.
In his State of the Nation Address in 2017, President Jacob Zuma noted the intention of the South African government to influence the behaviour of the private sector and to drive economic transformation.
Talk of radical economic transformation, a concept that has dominated public discourse in recent months, is an outcome of government policy failures, which have left the majority black population on the margins of the mainstream economy, speakers argued during a panel discussion organised by the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (GSB) on Wednesday 19 April.
It’s all about who owes what and how much of it as well as the colour of the owner - and a deep rooted grievance which still has to be settled. 1994 gave us temporary reprieve - but the Rainbow experiment has ended - and we're all to be blamed for it. In 2007, the so-called 'second phase' of the National Democratic Revolution was adopted in Polokwane. It advanced in 2012 in Mangaung. Business did not take any of that seriously - they thought (perhaps hoped) that things would remain the same. It didn't.
Political uncertainty globally will have ripple effects on Africa, primarily through impacts on commodity prices and global economic sentiment. While the early months of 2017 have seen improved prices for the commodities on which many southern African economies rely, longer term economic sentiment is more mixed. Meanwhile, governance improvements and the embedding of democratic practices and norms will be tested by pockets of instability as succession battles take place across the region.