Cofesa, the Confederation of Employers of South Africa posted #CofesaWeStay- positive news on the #ImStaying forum:

To create between 22m and 30m jobs plus more than 50m jobs on the continent, Cofesa had positive engagements with government to free our vibrant economy from the constraints of affirmative action, employment equity, lift restrictions on temporary employment services, independent contractors and outdated bargaining councils.

Picking these ‘low hanging fruit’ will be at zero cost to government and will generate huge growth.

We also based our plea on the World Economic Freedom Audit of 2019; an alliance of think tanks of nearly 100 nations who questioned why we lagged behind South Korea with their lower per capita GDP in 1960.  Today their per capita GDP is 32 times higher than ours. South Africa’s per capita GDP was a third larger than Singapore’s in 1960. Singapore’s is now 7 times higher than that of South Africa and why does South Africa compares very poorly with Botswana. Botswana outstripped  even the Asian ‘tigers’.

We implored the President  use  his special powers to remove  restrictions on economic activities to unlock our immense economic potential, to

  • deregulate,
  • commercialise,
  • privatise  and collect 15% VAT on a thriving economy, as well as company and personal taxes. Only business can create jobs, if permitted by government.

Water “highway” from the Nile river to the Cape

We welcome government’s fast tracking of the successfully negotiated African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which provides access to a continent-wide market of 1.2 billion people worth $2.5 trillion and  places Africa as the world’s largest free trade zone by population, a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business people and investments, linking Egypt to the Cape with a navigable water highway for trade tourism, construction, engineering and all other sectors.

Mobilise our spare capacity in construction,  engineering, science, finance etc for mega infrastructure projects to develop our continent

Since the completion of the 2010 World Cup, the South African capital project environment has declined in activity and the future for the industry seems bleak. This has been complicated further by some prominent construction companies taking their business off-shore or going into business rescue and even bankruptcy says Dr MC (Giel) Bekker, Director: Construction Industry Institute Africa Chapter.

We look forward to visionary mega size infrastructure projects: in the 1960’s a team of economists at the IDC, lead by  Dr Lawrence McCrystal’s (now Cofesa chairman)  saw the need for a sea harbour for Johannesburg. They identified suitable land at the sea and established Richards Bay, still a vital lifeline for our economy.  Since then  Dr McCrystal works on numerous projects in Africa.

Cape water crisis

To guarantee permanent, sufficient and affordable water for the Cape (including agriculture) Mr Rein Dijkstra,  a prominent international engineer, found that piping 7% of the water of the Orange River, now running into the sea,  to the Cape, will provide the Cape with double their present use. The system will generate surplus electricity above what it will use and will change the arid Karoo into an oasis, creating jobs and counter climate change.

A promising pre-feasibly study has been completed. Finance for the project is available and we are now inviting funders, even crowd funding,  for a feasibility study, estimated at R15m.

Water from the Kunene river to Gauteng

When our present water crisis was foreseen in the 1960’s a team of the IDC conceived a plan to bring water from the Kunene river to Gauteng and promote agricultural and related industrial development along the canal through Namibia and Botswana. We could join this, through Angola, to a canal to bring water and hydro power from the Congo river.

Like never before, prevailing goodwill in Africa enables development. Together we will change the face of the continent!

Melony Cronje