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Threat to expropriate pensions compels corporate SA to pick a side: the government or the people

20 August 2020 Institute of Race Relations (IRR)
Hermann Pretorius, Deputy Head of Policy Research at IRR

Hermann Pretorius, Deputy Head of Policy Research at IRR

Corporate South Africa has been ominously silent on the government’s openly stated intention to expropriate pensions and savings through asset prescription – but the time has come for it stand with ordinary South Africans against a policy that is at once fundamentally unnecessary and dangerous.

Having already compromised South Africa’s fiscal position through irresponsible and unproductive spending, the SACP-ANC government is now desperately seeking a new source of funding for its risky and expensive attempt to lead a post-pandemic recovery by spending billions on policies with a proven track record of failure.

An alternative route to recovery – to rising growth, job-creation and, ultimately, prosperity for all South Africans – is spelled out in the IRR’s latest policy document, Growth & Recovery: A strategy to #GetSAWorking (https://irr.org.za/reports/occasional-reports/growth-recovery-a-strategy-to-getsaworking). It sets out how South Africa could achieve economic growth of 7% by the end of the decade, and that it could do so at low financial cost – even if the political costs may be considerable.

The document makes a strong case against raiding the pensions and savings of hard-working South Africans through aggressive asset prescription, and highlights the choice now facing corporate South Africa between protecting the interests and rights of clients or selling them out to an irresponsible government.

By publicly stating their opposition to the government’s intention to expropriate savings and pensions, and heeding the call of the International Monetary Fund for South Africa to adopt growth-enhancing structural reforms by endorsing the IRR’s economic recovery plan, corporate South Africa can prove it is on the side of South Africans who deserve to own what they have worked hard to earn.

Said IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research Hermann Pretorius: “Corporate South Africa has a duty to clients, to South Africans being targeted by a parasitic government, and to common sense to oppose the government on the issue of prescribed assets and to support solutions that will see South Africa prosper.

“The IRR will not shy away from exposing those who, when South Africans needed them most, chose to sell out hard-working people who played by the rules, who saved and managed their finances responsibly, and who trusted banks and other financial institutions with their money.”

 

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