National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa) Chief Executive, Gerhard Papenfus has called on all South Africans to create the environment they envision, instead of waiting on the government to ensure a conducive climate for greater economic growth.

Papenfus says it is possible that the ideal environment for a thriving economy will not materialise, or at least not in the near future, and, therefore, businesses and citizens should shy away from waiting for the government to change their circumstances and should take the onus into their own hands.

He highlights the poor state of most State-owned enterprises, especially Eskom and South African Airways and mentions that, while he has confidence that President Cyril Ramaphosa is aware of the need to turn the economy around, it is uncertain at this stage if he has the political reserves to do so.

“We will have to see how this plays out, but while it does, we cannot wait for the government to get it right. Civil society has to get it right, citizens need to get involved in the affairs of the country.”

He notes that while apathy is global, South African cannot afford this. He therefore stresses the importance of getting involved at any and all levels, from the local affairs of towns and councils to teaching at schools.

“There are small things that each person can do daily to effect a difference, which will build to bigger things. It will be risky, it is tough to be an involved citizen, but it is what is necessary to do to make the country successful.