Debate: Is a social justice model fitting for economic growth in South Africa?

South Africa’s only possible path to economic prosperity is through competing successfully on the global stage, according to independent strategy adviser Shawn Hagedorn.

Responding to this week's State of the Nation Address (Sona) debate Hagedorn has described SA's current perceptive on the economy as 'isolationist' and says the country's focus on redistribution and reparations is limiting.

He says global integration is needed for a workable growth model.

The whole sort of political, economic nexus, it really centers around social justice issues and is completely debilitating economically, so you have a shift from where a lot of the corruption issues are going to be addressed and what's then going to be left is not a workable growth model.

Shawn Hagedorn, independent strategy adviser

There is no way that through redistribution, there is going to be restoration, reparations, for the injustices of apartheid, it's just not going to happen.

Shawn Hagedorn, independent strategy adviser

There is really no place where you you have one large economy without any real benchmark competitors. The only way South Africa can work out that the economy is failing dismally, is through the credit rating status.

Shawn Hagedorn, independent strategy adviser

Meanwhile Associate Professor at Wits University says Vishwas Satgar says it is impossible to ignore past injustices when approaching economic growth.

His argument is that we have got to think with historical amnesia in South Africa in order to go forward and I think that is fallacious.

Vishwas Satgar, Associate Professor, Wits University

We cannot ignore the super exploitation that has built this country and the degradation that has been endured by the millions in this country, or the violence that has been central to black lives in South Africa.

Vishwas Satgar, Associate Professor, Wits University

I disagree with this perspective that we have had an isolationist position. South Africa is a deeply globalised economy, and in that context it was premised on compromise and the political bargain was about allowing historically white capital to have mobility in and out of this economy, but at the same time there was an expectation that it would also invest in this economy. Create jobs...

Vishwas Satgar, Associate Professor, Wits University

That promise at the heart of that bargain was not realised an actually what you have instead is a high concentration of wealth at the top. Inequity has been one of the outcomes of this deeply globalised economic process.

Vishwas Satgar, Associate Professor, Wits University

Click on the link below to listen to the full debate...


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