statement by UDM President and Deputy-President

The surprising rating of South Africa’s competitiveness as 7th among 23 African countries by the World Economic Forum should be a clear wake-up call if we want to develop a world-class country within ten years.

The main reasons for our poor performance are essentially the pessimistic business perceptions of South Africa, with the high crime rate as the most bedeviling factor, and the low ratings regarding the training and productivity of our labour force.

These factors are all to a degree controllable by government: the crime rate warrants even stricter and more holistic measures in the form of a policy concerning civil order, and further economic reforms in order to alleviate massive unemployment in our country.

The pressure is also squarely on the shoulders of the education system to supply a labour force of adequately-trained workers, especially in the fields of science, mathematics and languages. Productivity is a further issue which should be addressed primarily during education and training.

The vision of making South Africa a world-class country in ten years’ time, is one that will require our national focus on all sectors of government and private companies. We will have to outlive the past and solve all our problems and shortcomings jointly as South Africans. That is the challenge that we need to grasp, the opportunity that we should transform into reality.