News: SACCI response to Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan

  Posted On:   Oct 22, 2020

SACCI (The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry) welcomes the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan as announced by President Ramaphosa.

We appreciate the President’s acknowledgement of the challenges faced by the economy, together with the elements that need urgent attention to set the economy on a positive trajectory.

The elements of Infrastructure Development, Energy Security, Human Capital Optimization, SME prioritization, Smart Financing and Domestic Manufacturing have always been the hallmarks of SACCI's engagement with the government at various levels and the Economic Cluster in particular. These plans, however, will depend on the ability of the State to execute. Planning alone will not be adequate. In our view, many of the ideas proposed by the President are good but will be constrained in taking off, without fixing the Human Capital equation.

Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, old Hong Kong, Russia, Australia, and Israel are 8 of the Non-Western Countries that have, in the last 100 years, managed to move their countries from “developing” to “developed” economies. By doing that, they managed to lift millions of their people out of poverty and high unemployment.

The one visible distinguishing common denominator in the success of these countries has been the culture of not compromising on building a meritocracy. The majority are not endowed with natural resources as South Africa is.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry calls upon the President to take the bold step of commissioning an independent, professional and deep audit, assessment and evaluation of the current skills-set in the public sector managerial cohort to check for fit and purpose, in line with the template for delivery.

This independent professional assessment should also include an honest evaluation of the Senior-Level Public Sector compensation structure, both extrinsic and intrinsic, its competitiveness and alignment with the ability to attract the right skills required to drive this recovery and reconstruction. In addition to this, the public sector should embark on a clear, well defined and codified values and culture programme, to drive the high-performance ethos that is a condition precedent to any sustainable successful turnaround. It is culture and the values that are at the centre of any successful organizational renewal. Right skills, Right Culture and Right Values.

It is common knowledge that the biggest weakness the state has shown to date is its lack of capability, in selection, recruitment and the retention of the right people, performance management and the creation and maintenance of the right enabling high-performance culture to drive sustainable delivery.

Additionally, the apparent lack of effective leadership development and training of Cabinet Ministers, Premiers, MECs, Mayors, and top-level Senior Servants, is another critical area to improve on, as it creates the big lacuna, with the challenges, responsibilities and performance expectations the top leadership carry.

As the most representative business formation, The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry is looking forward to engaging and working together with government at all levels as well as other social partners, in delivering the vision of a successful and prosperous South Africa.

Visit the SACCI Website to Learn More

The World Has an E-Waste Problem

Several years ago, we may have said that the Digital Revolution is on our doorstep, but today the Digital Revolution is in our homes and part of our everyday lives!

Following hot on the heels of the Digital Revolution was the promise of a “Paperless Society” whereby all our media is delivered and consumed via our Smartphones, laptops and tablets. With the rise of digital media, it may be time to rethink our beliefs about print especially in the face of an increasingly digital and environmentally aware world.

Given how paper is sourced, the perception that paper-based mediums are environmentally unfriendly is untrue, as research points to the contrary. For example, paper is one of the few products that is truly sustainable, as it is made from renewable resources. In-fact, ethically managed paper production supports sustainable forest management; it isn’t about using less paper, but rather about using the correctly sourced paper!

This means that as an industry, printing companies should take active steps to ensure that they comply with responsible and ethical paper sourcing practices and support paper suppliers that are accredited with the globally recognised bodies such as the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC), and the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC). These accreditations ensure that the printed products can be traced back to their points of origin from responsible suppliers, well-managed forests and recycled resources.

With regards to E-Waste, a UN report released in July 2020 stated that E-waste surged 21% over the past five years, predicting that it will reach 74 million tons by 2030, almost doubling electronic waste in just 16 years!

This means that E-Waste is now the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream. This is fuelled by the higher consumption rates of electric and electronic equipment due to short life-cycles.

In the report, it is also stated that E-waste is a health and environmental hazard, containing toxic additives or hazardous substances such as mercury, which damages the human brain and coordination system.

While the overall damage done to the environment from all the unrecycled waste may be incalculable, the message from the report was conclusive: “The way in which we produce, consume, and dispose of E-waste is unsustainable.”

The rise of E-Waste and our increased awareness about the problem, together with consumers putting increased value on tactile mediums put specialised print back on the table.

As custodians of the print industry though, it is our job to not only to sustain the Print Industry but also adopt and adapt to environmental challenges. In the past, some processes that the industry followed were harmful to the environment but as we embrace new technologies and sustainable raw-material sources, our industry can forge ahead as environmental stalwarts!


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