A year to remember


It is difficult to believe another year is coming to an end, as we bid farewell to a rollercoaster 2017, a year that many will never forget.

But it is not all doom and gloom. Take our friends in Zimbabwe. Who would have thought that we’d have a peaceful end to that situation? The country rejoiced as one, with the hope for a better future ringing through the streets of Harare.

It was heart-warming to see a change of longstanding leadership in Africa without bloodshed. Despite little investment into infrastructure in the last 30 years, judging by the television footage, the streets were still clean. I’ve yet to see a public gathering of any kind and expense in South Africa where there is not a pile of litter left behind afterwards.

Hopefully, South Africa can follow suit with peaceful elections and a change of power. It is clear that the current regime has run its course and we need some fresh ideas to give the economy an opportunity to shine again.

2017 saw business find its voice in the fight against corruption, with many high-profile leaders calling for a change. I still maintain that our economy is not touching the surface of its potential. Neither are our sporting teams that struggle at every major competition. With the amount of talent that SA has in both rugby and cricket, we should be world-beaters, not the laughing stock.

What is even more laughable is SA not winning the bid to host the Rugby World Cup. The last time was way back in 1995 when I was still in high school. France seems to host it every 8-12 years, and is greedy for wanting it again so soon. Any pure rugby lover would want South Africa to host it. You could point fingers at our political climate and crime levels as an excuse, but Paris is no safe haven so that argument does not hold water. Corruption is a global phenomenon, that much is clear.

What has been refreshing to see this year is the way Millennials look at the world. They are interested in saving the planet, recycling, using public transport and non-violence. With so much of the world at war with each other, or the perception thereof through the media, could the current crop of young leaders make a better, more peaceful world? Only time will tell, but there has never been a more inclusive, switched-on, multiracial generation of young people wanting sustainable change.

All in all, we are approaching the end of 2017 with more hope than fear. There have been plenty of good results, with the judicial system holding strong, while some of the bad apples have been plucked from the tree in under-performing parastatals.

I want to introduce a ‘Reader’s Choice’ section in Leadership next year, so please nominate who you’d like to see interviewed, and why.

Until the next time, happy holidays,

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