Government - Business Relations: The Role of Business

Helen Suzman Foundation

The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) is one of South Africa's leading policy think tanks. Its mission is to promote liberal constitutional democracy through broadening public debate, publishing and research. The HSF was founded in 1993 and has consistently promoted the liberal democratic values that informed Helen Suzman's work throughout her public life, and that she so clearly demonstrated in her devotion to public service.

The HSF is hosting a roundtable discussion entitled ‘Government-Business Relations: The Role of Business’ on 12 July 2012 in Johannesburg.

South Africa has a long history of problematic relations between the government of the day and the business sector. The unspoken rule is that the political terrain, and by extension the policy environment in which business must operate, should be left to the politicians. This relationship has been tense and the business sector often remains guarded on issues affecting the wider South Africa. A consequence of which is that societal outcomes are often sub-optimal.

This roundtable will address the current relationship between government and the private sector with a view to determining what role business itself should be playing.

Questions informing this discussion include:

  • Why is the relationship between government and business so strained?
  • How does this impact on South Africa's ability to overcome its domestic challenges and compete in global markets?
  • What responsibilities does business have as a development partner with government?
  • What role do the various business organisations play in influencing the policy debate in South Africa?

Time: 17h30 for 18h00 to 19h30

RSVP: Michael Edmeston, E-mail:

For more about the Helen Suzman Foundation, refer to

Event Start Date: 
Thursday, 12 July, 2012
Event Venue: 
Gordon Institute of Business Science, 26 Melville Road, Illovo, Johannesburg

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