SOUTH AFRICA (engineeringnews.co.za) – The global situation posed a number of risks, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan cautioned on Monday. He was addressing the India-South Africa Business Summit.
These risks include a new global financial crisis and damage to the multilateral trade regime, as well as the readiness (or lack of it) of countries for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including artificial intelligence. The countries of the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) alignment could, he observed, mitigate against these.
Also, new ways to grow economies, achieve sustainable development and reduce inequality could emerge. “Clearly, yesterday’s skills are not good enough for tomorrow,” he highlighted. Training the younger generations will be the biggest challenge for both India and South Africa.
“Today, South Africa and India share many common factors,” he pointed out. They were both members of Brics, the G20 group of leading economies, and the World Trade Organisation. But today both needed to “raise the bar” regarding inclusive development and reducing inequality.
“In South Africa, … we do indeed have a new dawn,” he affirmed. “That new dawn has created an immense new spirit in the country.” It had increased trust between Government, business and citizens. And that trust would be increased if the people experienced the benefits of development, such as the provision of water, power and the creation of jobs.
Turning to his own portfolio, Gordhan referred to South African State-owned Enterprises (SOEs).
“SOEs need to move in a very different direction from the era of what we call State Capture in South Africa.” He noted that India also had major SOEs. “There is a lot of room for us to learn from one another [concerning good governance and the turning around of SOEs].”