Richard Calland and Lawson Naidoo
Business Day, 4 May 2016
IN this article, the authors argue that the current phase of South African politics – complex, erratic, and increasingly risky — requires dexterity as well as a fundamental commitment by business to engage and to be prepared to accept legitimate outcomes. Most businesses are not willing to invest in the skills and the commitment in time needed to build durable long-term relations with different government institutions, and to develop a sufficiently deep grasp of the political environment. Government’s propensity for sending out mixed messages must be understood in context; business needs to learn how to ‘read the tea leaves’, and decipher their real meaning. The dynamic character of the political scene means that there are many opportunities to reboot relations with government. Yet, like a marriage that is not only in trouble but where the two partners have lost the ability to use the language necessary to have a coherent, constructive conversation, both sides need metaphorical counseling to prepare them for a new phase. Both need to recognise that they need professional help in refashioning a crucial, symbiotic relationship. To access the article, click on the link below.