Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas says opting out of the daily thrust of politics has given him space to reflect on South Africa's economic landscape.
Jonas launched 'After Dawn: Hope after state capture' in Hyde Park on Tuesday night, a book detailing events leading up to state capture as well as the state of the South African economy and politics, according to him.
He was one of the first politicians to blow the whistle on state capture, claiming the Gupta brothers offered him R600 million to take the position of Finance Minister.
He says more needs to be done to drive growth and that the country needs a single minded focus. He says the state is critical to this.
I think the state will continue to be critical. We must contend with the reality that the capacity of the state, I think at least from 2008, has been almost depleted. Key institutions are weak so there is need of rebuilding state capacity and institutions.— Mcebisi Jonas, Former deputy finance minister
Given the agency of growth, I would argue that we need to affirm a set of skills and capabilities in an institution that focuses on investment and trade, policy and trade programme. Give it independent authority and space to be able to take decisions, drive investment etc.— Mcebisi Jonas, Former deputy finance minister
We have got to seem to be doing things, clearly fixing education is a critical part of that. In the interim I suggest that we can't avoid getting into some kind of transitional programme of incentivising labour intensive industry.... you are not going to create jobs for labour that you don't have, you also need to create jobs for labour that you have.— Mcebisi Jonas, Former deputy finance minister
He emphasises that the other part of the puzzle he argues very strongly in his book is to create room for private sector.
I talk a lot about deregulation as a critical trade off that government must do. We have to look at what is the measure of deregulation that you need and that conversation should happen between the state and business... we are over regulated in many respects.— Mcebisi Jonas, Former deputy finance minister
We need to disrupt the current pattern, it is a pattern of cyclical decline... government needs to mobilize all sectors of society behind this programme.— Mcebisi Jonas, Former deputy finance minister
On the political front, Jonas suggests there is a series of side shows disrupting the possible prosecution of certain individuals and stopping the rot in the public system.
I think we should take society in to confidence and begin to move beyond these side shows and focus on the real issues. The real issues are, we are sitting on top of an economy that is not growing...we cannot allow political disorder to continue.— Mcebisi Jonas, Former deputy finance minister
Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...