President Cyril Ramaphosa during a meeting with business leaders last week at Discovery Place. (Photo: X, The Presidency)
The collaboration, however well-intentioned, between the state and business is fraught with grave political implications. The idea that unelected business leaders can perform state duties triggers a conflict of interest because state agencies generally regulate the conduct of companies, writes Mpumelelo Mkhabela.
“I can fix South Africa”, read a cover headline of the Financial Mail. The bold assertion early this year came from Whitey Basson, the former chief executive officer of Shoprite, South Africa’s largest retail and listed multinational.
“We’ll chop them off their knees”, was another headline in the Sunday Times, referring to a plan by business leaders to tackle crime with or without the involvement of the state. This time, it was Neal Froneman, the chief executive officer of Sibanye-StillWater, a listed producer of platinum and gold.
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