The public reaction to the most important Government document on economic policy since the ANC threw GEAR (Growth, Employment and Redistribution Policy) into reverse, namely Treasury’s “Economic transformation, inclusive growth, and competitiveness: Towards an Economic Strategy for South Africa”, will convince both Moody and potential investors that South Africa remains far removed from a stable investment destination.
Since its release end August, the Treasury document attracted both support and condemnation. For some it signals a first ray of the much-delayed New Dawn promised by Ramaphosa’s 2017 manifesto; for others, a total onslaught on worker’s rights and a selling out to the forces of unbridled capitalism.
Much bolder than the elaborate National Development Plan (NDP) that received mere lip service during the Zuma-Ramaphosa era from 2014 – 2018, Treasury’s document bluntly concludes:
“The current state of the South African economy is unsustainable. Low economic growth entrenches poverty and inequality… Addressing our economic challenges requires an immediate focus on policies that will raise South Africa’s potential growth.”