News » Opinion » Editorials
In modern-day South Africa, it seems our islands of excellence are increasingly being threatened by the spreading flood of incompetence.
In Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape, motoring manufacturing and assembly plants are some of the jewels in South Africa’s industrial crown.
Ford recently invested R600 million into its engine facility there, along with a massive R15.8 billion commitment in the expansion of its factory in Silverton, Pretoria.
ALSO READ: Car sales, manufacturers smiling as business confidence increases in first quarter
Global corporations like Ford do not do this because they like South Africa or feel they owe us something because of the sacrifices Nelson Mandela made to bring about the end of apartheid.
They invest their money because they believe they will get a return on that investment – and because they believe we have the right conditions for their business to thrive.
Those conditions include a skilled workforce, quality infrastructure, political stability and laws which encourage, rather discourage, vigorous private enterprise.
The same goes for all our local vehicle makers – Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Isuzu, among others.
These companies export their products to markets across the world – markets which care only about quality.
These companies hold out the vision of the South Africa we could be if their confidence, their commitment and their ability were multiplied across our economy.
Yet, the government has often failed to create conditions which encourage investment, from its endless red tape to sometimes stifling labour legislation.
READ MORE: Govt unable to assist Comair as Ramaphosa places blame on ‘limited resources’
Its failure to protect infrastructure from looting and destruction has seen vital import and export routes faltering.
Unions, in their efforts to remain relevant, continue to threaten strikes over demands for more money.
While these hurt individual workers through loss of wages, they hurt the economy far more through loss of confidence by foreign investors.
Once you have braaied the golden goose, comrades, do not wonder what happened to its golden eggs.