Business urged to rethink profit drive, by Karima Brown, Jacob Dlamini and Hopewell Radebe

Monday, July 18, 2005

Government has extended its economic rethink to corporate SA, calling on business to look beyond its “annual financial statements” and focus on the long-term economic and political interests of the country.

Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi, who is driving the rethink, said that companies’ current profit margins could not be sustained in the long run.

He called for a debate on “what sort of profit margins, what sort of returns are justifiable, and what levels of profitability can sustain development” in SA.

Moleketi said one of SA’s key challenges was the absorption of unskilled and semiskilled workers into the economy.

Government has already thrown down the gauntlet to the trade unions to move beyond their “sectarian” interests, and now wants business to buy into its idea of “stakeholder capitalism”, with shared growth as the main objective as opposed to a narrow “shareholder capitalism”.
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Source: Sunday Times