Mr President,

There is a paucity of ideas as to how to lift the South African economy.

Here is how it can be started.

The mines are closing, the gold and other minerals mined out. However these mines as you well know were both industrial and social hubs.

They should be turned into skills training campuses. Workers and staff that are affected by the closures should be trained to lecture in the skills that they have learned.

These facilities should be used to train electricians, boilermakers, plumbers, woodworkers, builders and so on.

The hospitals should be turned into nursing colleges.

Accommodation should be converted into student residents.

This country needs basic skills to be developed for the economy to have a sound base. People that are employable with much needed skills.

So think about it, turn the mines on both the East Rand and West Rand into technical campuses. The Free State as well, even a mine like Phalaborwa.

All of this will come at a low cost but high benefit to the economy.

Stop dreaming of high speed trains, the fourth industrial revolution, when we do not even have the basics to meet the requirements of past revolutions!

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Ian Hamilton