South Africa’s new coalition government needs to centre on these 4 things, CEO warns

 ·3 Jun 2024

Business Leadership South Africa chief executive Busi Mavuso warns that the country’s politicians face a critical choice between the rule of law and growth or undoing all the progress made over the past five years.

Mavuso said that the election results will have come as a shock to politicians. The ANC lost its majority spectacularly, falling under 40% nationally and losing key battlegrounds in the provinces—most notably KwaZulu Natal, where the MK emerged as the favoured party.

However, she said that the reality for South Africans and the country as a whole remains the same: “We need jobs, we need the economy to grow, and we need to generate revenue that can be taxed.”

To achieve this, the country needs a stable and reliable government that is committed to the rule of law and economic reform, she said.

“As the parties that are sending members to parliament seek a workable plan, they must be clear about what ‘workable’ means. It must be capable of enduring – we do not need a spectacle of votes of no confidence and repeat elections that we see in some countries where coalitions are the norm. The deals struck now must be capable of going the distance for a full five-year term.”

Mavuso said the critical decisions, however, are to ensure that the deals struck now underpin policy continuity.

“They must enable the government to stick to the fiscal prudence that we have managed to return to governance over the last few years, and they must maintain the reform momentum needed to get the economy growing.”

“Key interventions like Operation Vulindlela must be embraced and strengthened. The next government must continue the hard work of rebuilding institutions, particularly the criminal justice system.

“As a country, we must continue to restore our international standing, escape the FATF grey list and improve the national balance sheet so we can one day regain an investment grade credit rating. These objectives must be clear for the next government if it is going to deliver for South Africans.”

She said that the majority of South Africans voted for parties that share some of the key ideals:

  • A commitment to clean governance;
  • Retaining the integrity of the Constitution;
  • Upholding the rule of law;
  • Continuing to protect and safeguard the independence of democratic institutions, including the judiciary and the Reserve Bank.

“The business community and global investors are aligned with this majority,” she said.

She urged politicians to be wary of populism and cults of personality.

“We do not want the spectacle of parties putting their narrow ambitions first, even less so individual personalities doing so. We certainly do not need a government that will reverse the progress made,” she said.

Read: 2024 South Africa Election: Final national and provincial results and seat allocations

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter