What exactly is inclusive growth? If you go to Google this is the definition that pops up first: “Inclusive growth is a concept that advances equitable opportunities for economic participants during economic growth with benefits incurred by every section of society. ... The definition of inclusive growth implies direct links between the macroeconomic and microeconomic determinants of the economy and economic growth.” Spot on, but a little wordy, so Bruce Whitfield, the MC at the IQbusiness workshop and function on the topic, held at the Inanda Club on 15 September 2017, gave Pravin Gordhan, South Africa’s yo-yo finance minister, ten seconds to come up with a seven word definition.
Gordhan, who was one of the keynote speakers at this seminal event, nailed it in record time, coming up with, “Ensuring higher standards of living for everyone.” A good off the cuff definition, but, of course, inclusive growth means different things to different people, and in the politically charged environment in which we now operate, it could mean radical economic transformation, or the destruction of white monopoly capital, and even, in extreme cases, the transfer of South Africa’s assets to remote parts of the world, such as Dubai and Uttar Pradesh. And taking macroeconomic and microeconomic at a new level, which is something akin to fake news, we could even say that the definition of “everyone” is narrowed down to an exclusive elite, with entry to this club by surname, such as Myeni, Mathambi, Mbete, Duarte, etc. But that is just the harem, let us not forget the more macho names such as Gigaba, Zwane, van Rooyen and Mbalula. There are many more, because this is one big filthy tent, but I think you get my drift.
But back to the real world, and the world within which most of the long suffering citizenry of South Africa operate, and their real world desire for true inclusive growth. These are the folk that are propping up our faltering economy, despite serious attempts by “rent seekers trying to extract their hard earned money”, as Gordhan so eloquently puts it. Gordhan also warns us to “to wake up and understand the implications of state capture, which is the death of inclusivity, and only good for the elite.”
It is the good folk at IQbusiness that are earnestly trying to give us a template for economic growth, for the good of all of the 55 million people of South Africa. They have identified five critical, yet simple initiatives that will advance inclusive growth, and they shared this on 15 September in the hope that business and government will sign on to these philosophies, to create exponential strategic value and give practical substance to the theme of Inclusive GROWTH.vo.za.
These initiatives revolve around:
- Efficient, effective and Agile government
- Enterprise development
- State-Owned enterprises (SOEs)
- Financial inclusion
AS they say in their brochure’s executive summary, “Taken together, these five actions give practical substance to our belief at IQbusiness that profit presents an opportunity to make a meaningful, positive and lasting impact on society. And that is precisely how Inclusive GROWTH.co.za can change South Africa for the good.”
Sterling stuff, and aBr shall revisit this inspiring and bold movement, time and time again, in future issues.