It’s a great honor that I am now one of the directors of the Independent Entrepreneurship Group (Ineng). I must say, in honesty, to find myself working with the incredibly talented, hardworking people of Ineng is a privilege.
To those unfamiliar with Ineng; it’s a non-profit organization based in Cape Town, whose mission is to promote public policies that encourage entrepreneurship and economic growth in South Africa. We create a platform for entrepreneurs to engage on how public policies affect them.
We run public policy events, where entrepreneurs can share their views on public policy matters. Recommendations that come of these events are presented in public hearings.
Our objective, with Ineng, is to contribute towards the betterment of South Africa’s business environment.
The business environment faces a rough time in South Africa – and we, as an organization, feel the voice of entrepreneurs is never heard by public officials and policymakers, at least to a level necessary for radical, pro-enterprise policy reforms.
At the present moment, South Africa’s entrepreneurs are in a wobble – lacklustre economy, inflation, the increasing red tape – all these and many other factors put enormous pressures on entrepreneurs.
Government’s anti-market policies and its hostility towards business makes things worse, and impedes economic and entrepreneurial growth. Small businesses are battling to survive in the very constricted and costly market. And our mission is to contribute towards the reformation of South Africa’s environment, to one that encourages the rapid business growth of SMMEs.
To achieve our ambitions as an organization will require consistent hard work and commitment. We do know that we will face many challenges, and have planned accordingly for the headwinds that lie ahead.
What’s magnificent, is that Ineng is now a partner with the famed Atlas Network.
Atlas Network is “a non-profit organization connecting a global network of more than 400 free-market organizations in over 80 countries to the ideas and resources needed to advance the cause of liberty”, the organization, based in Washington D.C., explains on its website.
To us, this partnership with Atlas Network is very special. It presents us an opportunity to craft a relationship with all these more than 400 remarkable free-enterprise organizations and other organizations around the world. We look forward to making use of this opportunity, without any hesitance.
Our efforts in growing the organization will include professional and objective engagement with the media.
Today’s media is reshaping our technological, economic and political world in an unprecedented magnitude. To succeed in this hyper-competitive world and garner support for our organization, we will have to get our media engagement right. Getting the media right will be an integral part of our pursuit of success.
At the core of what drives us are the challenges we face as a country. The stubbornly high unemployment of almost 40% and poverty are serious concerns for our organization. We believe our society can escape this unemployment and poverty through business growth. Business should be a tool to fight poverty, not costly, inefficient government programs.
It is business that will create jobs for the millions who are jobless. Most of these jobless people are in their youth. They are forever looking for employment and cannot find it. Simply because businesses are not growing as they face huge political and economic pressures at the moment.
We believe government cannot and should not even attempt to create jobs. No taxpayers’ money should be spent with the intention to create jobs. It is businesses that can and should create jobs. Government’s role is to create an environment that facilitates rapid business growth and therefore job creation.
Praises should go to Garreth Bloor, the Democratic Alliance’s former member of the Mayor’s cabinet for economic development in the City of Cape Town, along with other colleagues of various backgrounds, who came up with the Ineng concept four years back. I’m delighted to call Garreth a friend.
Garreth, I, and colleagues, look forward to making a huge difference in 2017 and beyond. We are confident Ineng’s impact will be huge and that we will grow our support amongst South Africans and our friends around the world, especially in the United States of America.
We hope our public officials will hear us as we are the voice speaking on behalf of entrepreneurs and the poor. We believe we deserve to be heard; because our cause is just and does deserve an opportunity in an economically sick country as ours.
Phumlani M. Majozi is a policy analyst and director at the Independent Entrepreneurship Group (Ineng), a policy fellow at the South African Institute of Race Relations, and a radio commentator on political and economic issues