Putting Thuma Mina into action

Cyril Ramaphosa’s inaugural State of the Nation address in February 2018 ignited the ethos and catchphrase of Thuma Mina. Taken from Hugh Masekela’s legendary song, the term has become the South African call to action that all citizens work together to create a better country. The president’s vision was simple — everyone has a role to play in changing the future of an embattled nation. This vision is equally relevant to the South African financial services sector, an industry that plays a crucial role in transformation, economy, inclusion and equality. It’s an industry that can ignite a sense of renewal and move the economy forward by helping to build investor confidence and driving entrepreneurial growth.

“South Africa needs a renewal that won’t come from a gift or a messiah but from a sense of energy and belief that each of us has the responsibility to create tomorrow,” says Arthur Kamp, chief economist, Sanlam Investment Management. “If we talk investment and growth that will catalyse our economy, then we need a new way of thinking and practising.”

Visibility and transparency are key to unlocking investment, as are certainty and stability. The challenge that the financial sector faces in attracting foreign investment is in proving that progress has been made. There needs to be increased competition and investment into the small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) to broaden ownership and drive high-growth and labour-intensive industries to showcase transformation, inclusion and ownership.

“Certainty is the key,” says Busi Mavuso, chief operations officer, Business Leadership South Africa. “We need to ask what foundation has to be put in place to encourage investment. We have not done enough to ensure that we give this certainty to investors.”

The sector has to be careful that it doesn’t conduct the operations of the economy from the centre. The future lies with entrepreneurs who have access to capital. So how can they access this, where are the sources and what lessons need to be learned to drive inclusion? And how can those who have limited access to collateral locate alternative revenue streams to gain the funds they need for growth?

“Alongside certainty there is anotherkey quality that has to be present for investment — trust,” says Sonja de Bruyn, managing director, Identity Partners. “It is an important quality in a developing economy. We need to think more creatively and source alternative ways of finding collateral. If we look at marginalised communities, the traditional forms of collateral have marginalised them for decades. In this, all the Thuma Mina elements must be leveraged to ensure we do more for people so they gain access to funds and opportunities.”

South Africa will not achieve economic growth without transformation. In a nation where the majority of income is earned by the top 10% of the population and 10% of the income is earned by the bottom 50%, the structure of society has to change and entrepreneurship and innovation must be given room to thrive. When the financial sector talks about what can be done to make a difference the answer lies in coming together to make a change for the country and to leverage its strength as the facilitator of credit and the driver of growth.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Tamsin Oxford
Tamsin Oxford
I am a professional editor, journalist, blogger, wordsmith, social junkie and writer with over 19 years of experience in both magazine publishing and Public Relations.

Related stories

Tax, wage bill, debt, pandemic: Mboweni’s tightrope budget policy statement

The finance minister has to close the jaws of the hippo and he’s likely to do this by tightening the country’s belt, again.

Johannesburg cannot police its future

South Africa’s biggest city is ground zero for debates about the long-term effectiveness and constitutionality of militarised urban policing and how we imagine the post-Covid city

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Fix economy: Cut, build, tax

Expert panel presents a range of solutions to the economic crisis that include cost cutting, infrastructure spending and a solidarity levy

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

Watch it again: Ramaphosa details economic recovery plan

According to the Presidency, the plan aims to expedite, in a sustainable manner, the recovery of South Africa’s economy

Subscribers only

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

More top stories

Fifteen witnesses for vice-chancellor probe

Sefako Makgatho University vice-chancellor Professor Peter Mbati had interdicted parliament last month from continuing with the inquiry

Constitutional Court ruling on restructuring dispute is good for employers

A judgment from the apex court empowers employers to change their workers’ contracts — without consultation

Audi Q8: Perfectly cool

The Audi Q8 is designed to be the king in the elite SUV class. But is it a victim of its own success?

KZN officials cash in on ‘danger pay for Covid-19’

Leadership failures at Umdoni local municipality in KwaZulu-Natal have caused a ‘very unhappy’ ANC PEC to fire the mayor and chief whip

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday