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


Subscribers only

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

Pandemic hobbles learners’ futures

South African schools have yet to open for the 2021 academic year and experts are sounding the alarm over lost learning time, especially in the crucial grades one and 12

More top stories

Zuma, Zondo play the waiting game

The former president says he will talk once the courts have ruled, but the head of the state capture inquiry appears resigned to letting the clock run out as the commission's deadline nears

Disinformation harms health and democracy

Conspiracy theorists abuse emotive topics to suck the air out of legitimate debate and further their own sinister agendas

Uganda: ‘I have never seen this much tear-gas in an...

Counting was slow across Uganda as a result of the internet shutdown, which affected some of the biometric machines used to validate voter registrations.

No way out for Thales in arms deal case, court...

The arms manufacturer has argued that there was no evidence to show that it was aware of hundreds of indirect payments to Jacob Zuma, but the court was not convinced.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…