Maybe this had to happen for the government to wake up and realise what big and small business contribute to the economy. Without business our nation starves. We are resilient and we will bounce back to a degree.
Some business were able to weather the unrest but some with limited cash flow and looted or destroyed stocks and tools have struggled to restart their enterprises. Will they be covered by insurance? Some lost everything, some don’t have the energy, let alone the finances, to rebuild. You need passion to rebuild, but leadership is critical, it gives support and confidence. We have difficult days ahead. I doubt our government will ever make a contract and keep to it. But this is the time for real change. Not just talk. If we don’t change the narrative of South Africa now, especially in Durban, we will starve ourselves.
Questions around black economic empowerment, certainty around basics like electricity, water and municipal services, need to be drastically improved. If the government doesn’t allow businesses to continue investing with confidence and for positive change, we have a big problem. We need to put colour, racial tensions and the past of our country behind us and really focus on what we need to grow. If we take too long to do this, we lose people who can help rebuild this country. It is going to take some drastic changes.
Take for example municipal rates in Durban. They are among the highest in the country. It takes months to get development approvals. We restrict foreign investment and skills in an attempt to redress the ills of the past. All governments have a tough job. They’re never perfect. Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon. I just wish our government would look to the future and invest in maintenance and growth. Create a climate where business can grow. Businesses create jobs.