You learn something new every day, and today I learned that there is such a thing as the annual congress of the SA Council of Shopping Centres.
The congress is currently taking place in Durban, with Jeremy Gardiner, a director at Investec Asset Management, one of the opening speakers.
During his address on Wednesday, Gardiner said “we must strip the emotion out of land reform”, adding that “communicating the land debate to investors has been a big challenge”.
Here’s Fin24 with more:
“The markets expect a sensible approach from us on land reform. Whether we can implement solutions on land, however, remains to be seen,” he said.
Gardiner argues that where South Africa seemed to be “with Russia” under former president Jacob Zuma, the country has moved to being “with China” now that President Cyril Ramaphosa is at the helm.
“We just need to give President Ramaphosa a bit more time. The good news is we are heading in the right direction as a country and every day we are making progress,” said Gardiner.
“I know one sees a lot of emigration from SA currently, but there would have been much more if state capture had remained intact.”
He seems like a glass half full kind of chap, then.
Not that he isn’t realistic:
At the same time, he is concerned about what he calls “a lot of investor-unfriendly rhetoric being thrown around”, especially ahead of the national election.
“Beware of those wanting to discredit Pravin Gordhan and Cyril Ramaphosa. We should appreciate and protect the press freedom we still have in SA. Journalists are critical in keeping the system clean,” he said.
“Some say Ramaphosa is not up to the task, but remember December’s ANC elective outcome was a compromise solution… Ramaphosa has people actively working against him. It will improve after the elections, if he gets a proper mandate.”
In Gardiner’s view, there is no shortage of money in SA, it just needs to be spent better.
“The world wants SA to work as a country. We must just put together solid policies and start doing the right thing,” he said.
There’s no doubt that President Ramaphosa is fighting internal battles for the heart of the ANC, but the longer he allows crooks like Mabuza, Gigaba, Dlamini and others to hang around, the more credibility he loses.
Oh, and if he could sack Tom Moyane from SARS already, and maybe Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane while he’s at it, that would be grand.
Who knows what other exciting developments will emerge from this year’s annual congress of the SA Council of Shopping Centres. I’m on the edge of my seat.
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