The need to Decentralize the South African Economy

RET or Radical Economical Transformation goes beyond what our current Government can truly deliver, and none of the current political parties seem to have any alternatives except following up on the mainstream trend set by the global trend setters such as the US, UK, Russia, China and Japan.

South Africa is sitting with all of her proverbial eggs in one basket; and this not only poses a great risk for South Africa as a whole, but is also provides unique avenues for RET to take place.

What I am talking about is the Metros and their rapid growth, not only in infrastructure, but also in People being born in these metros, and those who migrate to the metros for employment opportunities.

Government as it is, and society as it is structured can hardly keep up with this rapid growth as is evident in the rapid growing in townships and high density accommodation in the suburbs, and it will grow exponentially faster in the foreseeable future, driving up prices in rent and ownership as space and resources becomes less available.

This accompanied by the 4th Industrial Revolution which is on our doorstep makes it necessary for radical changes in the way we think about economic activities of the populace and how we keep an ever growing number of people without purpose occupied in a positive and constructive manner, and a way to give them hope to achieve or work towards a society worth while were all are treated equal and fair.

The number of unemployed will grow, and so will poverty and all the negative social issues such as violent crime which accompanies it;  unless the Government introduces Universal Basic Income or alternative avenues of growth such as infrastructure development to and in the smaller towns and rural areas.

Currently most manufacturing and processing activities take place in the metros, and the main reason for this is because of the infrastructure and markets which exist in these metros.

Little or no development is taking place in the smaller towns and the rural areas of South Africa because of the fact that it will be less profitable to build up infrastructure in these areas which can facilitate these economic activities, Government should not worry itself with being profitable.

In order to solve the man made South African issue of poverty, we need to look at decentralizing the economy and move away from the idea to see how many people we can fit in on the current and under strain metro infrastructure, and offload some of that pressure into the smaller towns and the rural areas, in which real growth can be seen and felt by the People from the ground up.

Key for the positive growth of South Africa, is development of the smaller towns and the rural areas, and key to developing the smaller towns and rural areas would be the infrastructure that leads to these towns, and this is the role of Government, creating jobs and a collective National Goal.

Local companies can be given incentives to relocate to smaller towns after the infrastructure  has been developed, and they will naturally grow the economies of the smaller towns from the bottom up by providing local job opportunities from local communities.

Foreign companies can be tasked, as part of their corporate social responsibility duties, to move their operations which is not dependable on fixed geographic resources, to these smaller towns and rural areas to give these communities a cash injection which will in turn grow new markets.

This is a very basic framework idea and by no means the full solution, but I believe that it is better to distribute risk than to concentrate it, and also I believe civil society such as Civic Movement of SA has a big roll to play in getting Government to act on projects such as decentralizing the economy and creating a united South Africa for all.