This is the text of an statement published by BLSA in City Press and Sunday Times, Sunday 16 April 2017
URGENT CALL TO ALL OUR ELECTED LEADERS TO STOP STATE CAPTURE
South Africa is in crisis:
- Our President’s irrational and inexplicable changes to the Cabinet have caused a sharp, expected an unnecessary decline in South Africa’s global financial standing.
- Those within the government and ruling party who disagree with the President’s actions are being vilified and criticised and the robust debate that has characterised South Africa’s liberation movement since 1912 is being silenced.
- Certain individuals and organisations, who do not understand the severe implications of a weakening currency and sovereign downgrade to “junk status”, either deny the cause or use ideology and pseudo economics to dismiss the effects.
- Propaganda, slogans, racism, lies and fake news is misrepresenting the nation’s anger with state capture and corruption, attempting incorrectly to reflect this anger as an attack on the ruling party.
- With few exceptions, our state institutions and enterprises are poorly governed, inefficiently managed and over indebted, functioning way below their capacity and the expectations and needs of citizens.
- South Africa is being divided into three groups: an elite who benefit from patronage and corruption; those too fearful to do anything about it; and millions who will suffer as a result.
All of these developments can be traced back to state capture centred mainly around the President and one family, aimed at the illegitimate acquisition of South Africa’s natural and financial assets.
Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) does not accept this. South Africans, including the business community, should not stand by and allow this to become the “new normal”. We stand for a constitutional democracy, rule of law, respect for the independence of state institutions, an effective state, zero tolerance for corruption in both the private and public sectors, and a growing and inclusive economy that works for all.
South Africa’s business sector is under constant attack despite providing employment for 13.5 million or 86% of the country’s working population and the bulk of the direct and indirect taxes that pay the salaries of 2.2 million government employees.
Despite this we have no desire, intention or mandate to involve ourselves in party politics. We respect the Constitution and the means by which political leadership is determined. These are matters for the citizens of South Africa and their elected representatives.
However, we regard the present situation as the political and economic low point of our young democracy. We know that without decisive action by leaders in every sphere of South African life our future is bleak.
As corporate leaders BLSA makes an urgent appeal to all our elected representatives in parliament, and the ruling party and alliance partners in particular, to exercise their conscience in taking whatever immediate steps are needed to reverse corruption and state capture and to restore confidence in our country’s leadership, our economy and the future of South Africa.
BLSA is an independent association whose members are South Africa’s largest businesses and major multinational companies. BLSA seeks to promote the interests of business and an inclusive growing economy that works for all South Africans in an effective constitutional state. www.businessleadership.org.za