As part of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s mandate to be a conduit of critical conversation and action between government, business and labour, it will be hosting its inaugural conference on 23 of September 2016, aimed at driving collaboration and an implementable roadmap for inclusive growth in the country through stakeholder partnerships.
According to Ernest Mahlaule, president of the JCCI: “As things continue to shift in the local marketplace, there is an emerging consensus that we need to re-ignite the South African economy; however, succeeding in this will require broad-based engagements and alignment towards common interest, as every stakeholder from business to government, labour and civil society, has a crucial role to play in bringing about positive change.
“However, our anxiety as business is how best the current emerging consensus between all key stakeholders can be sustained beyond pressure points such as the threats of economic down grade brought about by the rating agencies. The fact of the matter is that in reality, we can ill afford to lose this momentum – for even a moment – more specially at such a critical time when all parties finally realise that it’s critically important for team South Africa to display and maintain a united front towards re-igniting the economy,” adds Mahlaule.
These are not the concerns of business alone. During his speech at the Gauteng City Region Economic Indaba in June this year, Gauteng Premier David Makhura stressed an acknowledgement from provincial government that, without partnerships in place, stakeholders would remain indifferent to each other and the economy would fail.
In his speech the premier said: “It is important to situate our local efforts in the wider context of driving Africa’s structural transformation and a common quest for sustainable development and prosperity. There is no time to waste. Every sector of society should understand the danger of inaction or procrastination as well as the folly of quarrelling, as little fights are for little people. Every sphere of government can and must take steps to safeguard our common national interest by re-igniting a sustainable and more inclusive growth.”
Premier Makhura, will present the keynote address at the JCCI conference and will provide feedback on what the stakeholder partnership has achieved to date, while shedding more light on the implementation of the “Gauteng Ten Pillars of Radical Transformation Strategy (TMR)”.
The overarching focus of the conference is on driving collaboration towards the common interest of boosting the local economy and speakers on the day will capture the different perspectives of the key stakeholders in the economy.
“We simply can no longer afford to have a reactive approach to managing this economy – and particularly not when we in fact have access to the necessary resources to build a flourishing one,” says Mahlaule. “It’s time to get all stakeholders in a room to share their best ideas, concerns and needs – and from this direct feedback we can collectively define an implementable, integrated roadmap to take this economy forward.
“Given the historical challenges regarding implementation of all good policies and initiatives, business is bringing the much needed additional capacity towards this partnership. The desired outcomes include the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation team that would interact with all existing efforts and report back on at least quarterly bases.
“Comprehensive progress reports will be shared during subsequent annual conferences. In other words this conference is not an event just to talk about issues and park it there; rather an active neutral platform for finding the right solutions that will drive long term tangible progress.
“It must therefore be emphasised that the key stakeholders have taken up the baton to be a part of the “change and solution they want to see” in the country. This is a legacy of working structures and systems that promotes sustainable and inclusive growth for all,” says Mahlaule.
“It’s in this spirit therefore that we implore representatives from all the key stakeholder groupings to join us during this conference and be a part of the process in driving this change.”
The conference will take place at the IDC on Friday (23 September 2016).