Le développement durable et la législation

Pour permettre un développement durable, les investissements et la croissance doivent être réglementés, telle est l'une des idées les plus répandues et des plus évidentes en la matière. Selon ce point de vue, en l'absence de règles et d'une autorité judiciaire indépendante pour veiller à leur application, le développement est presque impossible en raison des dangers qui menacent tant la main d'oeuvre que le capital, notamment à cause de la corruption, de l'arbitraire et des habitudes rigides. Mais ce point de vue classique est-il toujours exact ?

Les contre-exemples sont peut-être en nombre limité, mais ils sont parlants. Prenons le cas des minibus qui servent de taxi en Afrique du Sud, une activité qui se développe en dehors de tout cadre légal et qui est en pleine expansion en raison de l'insuffisance criante du système transport public, caractérisé par des prix élevés, un service de mauvaise qualité et un fonctionnement chaotique. Les minibus fonctionnent bien grâce à une "culture" partagée de l'entreprise informelle qui est flexible, innovante et maintient un coût de fonctionnement faible.

Le succès est incontestable, ces taxis qui transportent 65% des voyageurs aux heures de pointe illustrent l'importance de la culture de l'activité informelle. La culture et les traditions comptent beaucoup et jouent un rôle décisif dans le comportement de la population. Cela se vérifie encore davantage dans les pays en voie de développement, particulièrement ceux qui ont une structure étatique faible, un système judiciaire qui ne fonctionne pas et une réglementation, si elle existe, qui n'est pas appliquée. Néanmoins, le dysfonctionnement des institutions officielles ne signifie pas que rien ne se réalise en dehors d'elles.

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