Roelf Meyer during the 3rd Impire Land Reform on February 26, 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe warned farmers who had disastrous economic consequences similar to Zimbabwe if the White South Africa did not come to work and worked with ANC when it comes to land reform. (Photo Gallo Images / Foto24 / Denzil Maregele)
Roelf Meyer became one of the most prominent faces in South Africa during the transition to democracy when he led negotiations on behalf of the National Party with principal ANC agent Cyril Ramaphos. It has been 20 years since it left active policy to play behind the scenes in global conflict resolution. But Meyer is now working with the South African government again – this time to help speed up the economy.
Roelf Meyer was in Zimbabwe when Daily Maverick He talked to him on Wednesday, January 30th.
Of course, it was: if the country is bitter about civil clashes, there are good chances that Meyer will work out behind the scenes to try and find a solution.
The 71-year-old has turned his negotiating role in the South African transition to democracy into an international career in conflict mediation. Meyer describes his organization of the Transformation Initiative as "quite involved in numerous countries in giving advice in tackling challenges".
These challenges include some of the most stable geopolitical issues in the world. Take, for example, Myanmar.
"I'm involved there, "says Meyer, and laughs ugly. "It's one of my headaches."
He works in "counseling abilities" with the leader of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, who has faced a growing international condemnation of maintaining a repressive regime and unsuccessful action due to brutal military action against Rohingi Muslims.
Meyer spoke very little about his work in Myanmar in public. Guard report in November 2018. Meyer described it as one of the "few figures" that were still the ear of Suu Kyi.
"I have access to her, "admits Meyer Daily Maverick, "Is he always listening to the second question – and she does not have to."
He says the situation on the ground in Myanmar is "much more complicated" than it is commonplace in the media.
"This is not just a problem with Rohing. There are at least 15 armed ethnic groups in the country that must be respected in the sense of finding a solution. "
However, from all current Meyer projects, the one described as the most excited game is on the domestic soil. On Tuesday, January 29, President Cyril Ramaphos attended business Indabi business organization Business Unity South Africa, where the PPAP for Ramaphos presented its plans regarding how the private and public sector could work together to fight unemployment and boost the economy.
PPGI is the concept of Meyer and his friend Johan van Zyl, CEO of Toyota Europe and Africa.
The way Meyer says that Ramaphos's inauspicious state address triggered the concept of PPGI. In particular, it was the call of the president to gather the South African public, Thuma Mina – Send me – it has made an inspirational trick.
"We came to the idea of giving the private sector answers to what the president said [in his SONA address]- says Meyer.
"The emphasis was on monitoring the sectoral approach; get the participation of different sectors of the economy and say: "This is what the private sector can do to help the economy grow and create new jobs."
A random meeting between Meyer and the minister in the presidency of Nkosazan Dlamini-Zuma helped secure the entry of the government. The two went back a long way, because they participated together in the first democratic cabinet of President Nelson Mandela. Meyer says Dlamini-Zuma was "immediately interested" in the project, and invited Meyer and his colleagues to the union building to talk about it further.
What is now known as PPGI has resulted in CEOs and representatives of 22 South African economics companies promising to work with the government to create new jobs, shift the needle to economic growth, and contribute to skills training.
On Tuesday, PPGI identified 18 specific projects in different economic sectors for this purpose. They are presented to President Ramaphos, ministers of his economic cluster of his government and the relevant general director of departments.
"There was a request to allow the president to say something [the forthcoming] SONA had about 10 projects, and we gave it 18 ", says Meyer.
"Each of them is actually very exciting. One is from a small business sector that says: & # 39; Make Partnerships at Local Government Levels, where municipalities can create opportunities for small businesses. That's something exciting that I think was not put on the table before. "
It is clear that Ramaphos administration sees cooperation with the private sector as an essential ingredient – perhaps a key ingredient – put jumper cables on the South African economy. Indeed, the PPGI is not the only such initiative at the moment: a meeting at the top of the presidential posts In 2018, a similar model of public-private co-operation was built.
South Africans could be forgiven to see PPGI as another sales outlet, promising the world, but unlikely to deliver the goods in practice.
"This is not just a question in the sky, "Meyer is an object.
"From what I have noticed in dealing with various sectors was the absolute enthusiasm of the directors and companies. They want to do something for the ground. There are more than 20 sectors that have committed in this way and have done so voluntarily. "
He acknowledges that the key factor will be the government's readiness to address "inhibitors" which the private sector said on Tuesday as an obstacle to its ability to contribute to economic growth: from political uncertainty to unstable energy situation.
"There are harmful factors that we must first suppress and remove from the road, "says Meyer," factors that have resulted in a decline in the economy over the last ten years. "
Although describing himself as eternally cautious, Meyer is still convinced that there is a new spirit in South Africa that makes this moment a real asset for significant economic growth.
"I would not even try [a project like the PPGI] under the previous administration, "he admitted. DM
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