Shape up and get the basics right
If ever there was a time that SA needed a strong economic jolt and buy-in from investors, it is now.
More than two million jobs were lost in the country between March and June this year, according to Stats SA, which has released its second-quarter labour force survey statistics.
It was not at all unexpected as several businesses had to shut down due to the effects of the hard lockdown under levels 5 and 4.
Some companies had to shed jobs to keep afloat and the unemployment queue grew longer and longer.
In the Eastern Cape, the situation is bleak.
More than half of the working population is unemployed.
In Nelson Mandela Bay, it is slightly less at 40.4%.
This is a crisis that requires swift intervention from business and the government to get SA’s economy back on track.
But it is difficult task, particularly in the Bay, which has a poor track record for service delivery.
Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber CEO Nomkhita Mona summed it up best when she said the Bay’s failure to get the basics right will do nothing to attract investors and create much-needed jobs.
She said: “The lack of service delivery and accountability by the municipality on various high-priority issues such as prolonged water shortages makes it difficult for the city to attract and retain investment in high-impact infrastructure development projects or in labour-intensive exporting industries such as agro-processing and tourism.”
Who will want to invest in the Bay if the municipality can barely keep the lights on every other day?
Who will want to pour their money into a city that does not have grand, immediate plans to solve the water crisis and ensure prolonged water security for its residents and businesses?
The jobs crisis requires strong leadership and immediate interventions; it does not need lengthy discussions with no action.
The province needs to get its best minds together to work on an immediate plan to get the economy on the up and go out there to search for new investors.
The municipal authorities must, however, play the game and ensure the various towns and cities in the Eastern Cape are attractive to would-be investors.
Shape up and get the basics right.
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