Ten ideas for Tito

Tito Mboweni will be hosting a Twitter Q&A on the South African economy. I quickly rattled off ten ideas to get us going. Each of these warrants much more detail and of course there are many more. But in Twitter brevity here they are:

1) Follow the “product jungle” approach of Ricardo Hausmann et al. Create new firms in product and service spaces adjacent to existing know-how.

2) Minimise local by laws and planning red tape that criminalises survival businesses and low level entrepreneurs

3) Invest in “productive places” in townships – not malls, but “main road” type environments with good social and civic infrastructure. High foot fall, good safety measures and diverse land uses & tenanting options for local businesses

4) Move beyond business plan writing in enterprise support services. Capable enterprises need better knowledge of and access to markets, and sustained (not a voucher here and there) mentorship

5) Leverage government budgets to transform the economy. Break mega contracts down into smaller jobs. Procure green to catalyse local manufacturing effeciencies. Offer demand-side housing grants to stimulate emerging developers.

6) Leverage technology to digitalise and export unique know-how eg stokvels+fintech; agri-Sci+AI;

7) Strengthen all technical transfer offices and research councils + uni-industry linked incubators

8) Get the basics right: manage existing water, energy, natural resources, tourism assets much better

9) Promote community safety partnerships: stabilise the small business operating environment

10) Fix our trains & use state land and land use powers to restructure our cities, promoting proximity to opportunity