Editor's Note

The catalyst for change

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Welcome to another edition of South Africa’s (SA) favourite business-to-business monthly, as we wind down on another tumultuous year, which began with our stand-in President Cyril Ramaphosa establishing his own brand of leadership and shaking up key areas of the government that had been compromised by the previous regimen.

It gave the people of SA hope that the business interests of our flagging economy would be remedied. Then, the honeymoon period ended in the second quarter of 2018 as the country faced was with the reality of near negative growth rates and a sharp downturn in FDI. The talk of land reform has taken a lot of wind out the sails of overseas investors, who are standing back and waiting for the 2019 election to play out.

Much of the political rhetoric being used around this topic often confuses the issue of effective land reform with politicians’ own political agenda. There is no doubt that land reform is essential in certain areas that are not fully represented yet, but for it to work properly, their needs to be a knowledge exchange from the existing experienced farmers to the next generation.

Running a farm is difficult enough with experience and large amounts of capital for expensive equipment, but if you have limited exposure to farming and lack large amounts of capital, achieving success is unlikely. Meanwhile, studies are clearly also showing that most Millenials want to be living in the city, with 68% of the world’s populations likely to be living in cities by 2050.

To make agricultural transformation work effectively, companies need to encourage more mentorship.

The idea that black-owned business must operate independently to establish themselves does not make use of the vast skills base that South Africa has to offer. It is also up to existing business owners to understand that they need to work with the government, communities and the universities to foster sustainable transformation.

From a sporting point of view, 2018 has been another inconsistent year for South African teams, with the Springboks showing the most promise, with an attractive brand of rugby and more attention given to transformation. Siya Kolisi has shined as captain and is a fantastic role model to young South Africans, who are often short of mentors.

Having spoken to many of South Africa’s business and lifestyle leaders this year, many are bullish about South Africa’s future and feel the change in the Presidency has put a spring back in businesses’ step. The elections are sure to be a turning point in history, but cool heads should prevail after the political jostling is done and we must continue to work together for a more transformed and prosperous future.

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Issue 414


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