We are at the end of 2018, a year that started off in a very dark place where South Africa was dancing on the edge of an economic and social abyss. A cliff that was very deep, and should we have fallen off into that cliff, could have easily seen the “miracle of South Africa” become yet another African statistic with dire consequences for all its citizens in decades to come.
To an extent, we are all dealing with some of the fallout of 2 presidential terms of mismanagement. Economic growth is elusive. Disposable income of the majority of people in South Africa is still low, and are not meeting the expectations created over the last 20 years since the first free elections. After more than 20 years on, and as a nation, we should have experienced more prosperity by now. These expectations are playing itself out in a big way in the run-up to the 2019 elections.
What is more worrying, is a tangible level of distrust and anger towards business and leaders, and specifically towards entrepreneurs – the very people that we desperately need to turn this ship around. The Steinhoff debacle that unfolded in 2018 did no entrepreneur any perception favours when it came to the public’s perception of capitalism.
But entrepreneurial skills and thinking is where leadership and role-models are more needed than ever before. We need “Builders” to think up and build more things. More businesses, more organisations, more buildings, more products….we need lots and lots more. This is our only salvation. In time, the more we “build”, the better the outlook for the 27% unemployed people, the 38% unemployed youth in this country will be. We need to celebrate the ones who are doing good things already, learn from them and use whatever lessons or inspiration we can derive from studying them, to rebuild our economic and social fabric. We need hope…the hope that some of us knows what to do to fix this.
Shapers, makers, builders and breakers is a direct result to do precisely that. To celebrate great leadership and great entrepreneurship. We are not telling our success stories and definitely not the right success stories.
So in 2019, I will do my part to light as many fires of hope, leadership, fresh thinking, entrepreneurship and just generally as many positive stories as I possibly can gather.
So I want to challenge each and everyone reading this. Do 1 thing that will add to the solution and not the problem.
I’m looking forward to 2019 journey! See you at the end of the year…hopefully, we celebrate Christmas 2019 with the makings of greatly improved sentiment and conditions for all in South Africa.