South Africans must work together to find ways to generate economic growth – Pravin Gordhan
South Africans should be proud of their fiscal sovereignty, but must now work together towards finding their own ways to generate economic growth through improving confidence, increasing investment and deepening inclusivity. This is the view of Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, who was a keynote speaker at the Discovery Leadership Summit held on Monday at the Sandton Convention Centre. “We can be very proud that we don’t borrow from the International Monetary Fund – we get this from having a tax-paying culture, the conscientiousness of our citizens and an effective tax and treasury administration system,” he said.
“Our collective focus now has to be to grow our economy. The key is to create unity of purpose. We need to have a culture of sharing, contributing and benefiting.” Gordhan told the audience of thousands of delegates that South Africa has many good things going for it and has big opportunities for growth in areas such as agriculture, tourism, the oceans economy, science and space technology and infrastructure development. He said South Africans need to “turbo-charge” their efforts, ideas and financial resources to create greater economic momentum.
“We need national consensus that our inequality is unacceptable, our economic participation rate is unacceptable and our unemployment rate is unacceptable,” Gordhan added, stressing the need for a revolution in the country’s business culture.
Importantly, the finance minister said the level business of ethics need to be raised so that there is a definite “no-go zone” across all areas of the public and private sectors. He said leaders need to do some serious reflection and promote economic inclusivity in a more organised and structured way to enable more people to enter the economy and “make go of it”. “What kind of country do we want? There is a rich mix available to us, depending on the choices we make,” he added.
Gordhan focused on the need for economic growth to be supportive, rather than disruptive, and for it to be as inclusive as possible. Questions should be asked about who benefits from GDP growth, he suggested. “It is important for us to do a lot better at implementation – we are good talkers. The National Development Plan is not lost, it is incorporated into the medium-term budget policy framework, but it needs to be pushed more assertively,” the finance minister said, stressing the need for accountability and responsibility in all sectors of society.
“Become active, become involved, become aware – it is our constitution, it is our country, our future.”
About Discovery Limited
Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment products and wellness markets. Founded in 1992, Discovery was guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. Underpinning this core purpose is the belief that through innovation, Discovery can be a powerful market disruptor.
The company, with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, has expanded its operations globally and currently serves over 5 million clients across South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Singapore and Australia. Discovery recently partnered with Generali, a leading insurer in Europe, and has partnered with John Hancock in the US. These new partnerships will bring Discovery’s shared-value business model to protection industries in Europe and the US.
Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution for individuals and corporates. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds three million lives in five markets.
Discovery is an authorised financial services provider and trades under the code “DSY” on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.
Follow us on Twitter @Discovery_SA