JOHANNESBURG – You might think that with our currency lingering at low levels and unemployment spiralling upwards, South Africa risks looking like an ageing car broken down at the side of the road and badly in need of a jumpstart if it’s to move forward. But you’d be forgetting that sense of victory when you coax a “skedonk” back onto the road and tune it to run as good as new.
It was former statistician-general Dr Pali Lehohla who reminded us in a recent column that the SA Government’s 10-year scenario forecasting back in 2003, identified four possible scenarios – “S’gudi S’nais”, “Dulisanang”, “Shosholoza” and “Skedonk”. The Skedonk scenario envisaged “the emergence of both a very unfriendly outside world with an internally divided and dispirited society.”
As we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives, what matters here isn’t that the car stutters along and maybe even stops. It’s that we use our ingenuity and dogged determination to get to our destination.
This is the attitude we need to harness now to get South Africa’s economy, job creation and social cohesion back on the road to greatness. It’s something that every business in every sector can help tackle in its own way – in defiance of shaky consumer spending and unenthusiastic foreign direct investors.
At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, President Cyril Ramaphosa had the strength to look into the eyes of his global counterparts and their top corporate giants and pledge South Africa’s potential as a “hot emerging market”.