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THE SA BLOOK

T HE SA B LOOK

Contents

Introduction……………………………………………………………………….3

1. The New South Africa – is it real?

6

2. Is SA

rich or poor?

8

3. What the world thinks of South Africa

12

4. The importance of each individual’s contribution – collectively

18

5. SA Inc and the business of doing business in SA

22

6. The beauty and grandeur that surrounds us

26

7. The importance of technology in SA’s global emergence

28

8. Building brand South Africa

31

9. Making the most of SA’s creative talents and abilities

35

10. Innovate for a better South Africa

38

11. The role of the younger generation in SA, and what we need to do to support them

41

12. Connecting South Africa – communities that transcend technology

43

13. The role of collaboration in South Africa’s growth - We are African

46

Credits

48

Photo credits……………………………………………………………………50

The SA Blook is an OutThink initiative. It’s an experiment

The SA Blook is an OutThink initiative. It’s an experiment in online writing, the first of its kind globally that we know of – a collaborative book written by various writers and bloggers, originally published online. The chapters were published across the various authors’ blogs on 2 June 2008. They are reproduced here to provide more widespread access to the contents, so if you’re reading this for the first time, it’s worked.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading the SA blook, and that it will give you some positive insight into the beautiful country that South Africa is and its amazing potential.

Please note that each chapter was written by the relevant individual(s) and is their respective copyright, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No-derivatives 2.5 ZA license:

is their respective copyright, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No-derivatives 2.5 ZA license:

Introduction

By Darren Gorton

Introduction By Darren Gorton Welcome to the SA blook, a collaboration between South African bloggers with

Welcome to the SA blook, a collaboration between South African bloggers with a strong belief in the future of our nation. Essentially, it is a book, originally published online and written by a diverse group of writers with strong views about our country and the reality South Africans find themselves living in.

There are countless books about South Africa’s history and how it developed, and there are bound to be many more. There is also an endless supply of daily news that reminds us about the real and difficult challenges that our country faces and has yet to overcome.

While most South Africans understand and feel the pain of these challenges, we will never be able to move forward unless we lift our eyes to the horizon and step boldly forward, aiming to build

a foundation for a better future for us all. This blook is about South Africa - a constructive look at our present, our future and the opportunities we have.

This blook is about South Africa - a constructive look at our present, our future and the opportunities we have

While this blook is admittedly an experiment in online writing, this fact should not detract from the importance of the topic at hand – something relevant to all South Africans. Every topic touched upon is intricately linked to South Africa’s present and future, and although we would not like to suggest that our present challenges are simply remedied by positive thinking, we hope to stimulate strong debate and new thinking around these topics. By doing so, the writers hope to contribute to a new perspective in this country, knowing that thinking is the precursor to action.

I trust you will enjoy reading this as much as we all enjoyed writing it, and that you’ll participate in a way that is impossible with traditional books – by leaving your comments, thoughts and ideas on the relevant online chapters as you read them.

Before you go on to read the rest of the blook, I would just like to extend a huge thank you to all the writers who were willing to take part in this blook. They have invested valuable time and thinking into this, and for that I am truly grateful!

[I also want to point out that each author is the owner of their respective chapter, so please do not reproduce, redistribute or alter it in any way without their consent]

South Africa. Actually. With a GDP (in millions of US dollars) at least 50% higher than any other African country, South Africa is a critical component of the African continent, and possibly even a key to economic and social revival in Africa. Yet, in spite of this success, we find ourselves trailing global leaders by quite a large margin in so many ways.

It’s plain for everyone to see that South Africa has a lot of problems, but its important to remember that we are not alone. Every country has its own struggles, and

Introduction

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THE SA BLOOK

considering where we’ve come from and the changes that have taken place here over the

considering where we’ve come from and the changes that have taken place here over the past 15 or so years, it’s not surprising that we find ourselves here.

As far as challenges go, you name it and we’ve probably had it at some point. Crime, financial crises, unemployment, illiteracy, poverty, droughts… and the list goes on. What surprises me is that we fail to realise that so many [although not all] of these are merely symptoms of a greater problem rather than the cause itself, and we don’t get to the real issues behind the problems we face each day. We often hear the problem of skills shortages mentioned, but if you ask me, our real problem is not a shortage of skills, but rather a shortage of people who really care! Skills can be taught [over time, I admit]. Caring cannot be taught – it’s a conscious decision each of us has to make. And its not an easy decision to make either, as evidenced by the fact that so many people find it easier to move to a different country overseas than to change their attitude and remain here.

It is immensely important that South Africa positions itself to take advantage of the windows of opportunity that are flying at us at staggering speed, even if we don’t yet understand exactly what they are. That responsibility cannot be delegated to a select few political or business leaders within the country, no matter how capable they may be. A leader’s job is to envision those that they influence. Each of us is a leader in some respect, and we all have a circle of influence, no matter how large or small. It is up to each of us to take responsibility for this if we truly want to build this nation.

South Africa reloaded So, Leader, let me ask you - is it time for us to reload?

We cannot continue to rely on those things that we have always done to take us where we want to go

In his State of the Nation address on 8 February 2008, while referring to Eskom’s plight at the time, President Thabo Mbeki said “We are a minerals resource economy. We must therefore continue to support the mining industry. It is inevitable that if we are to continue on our growth path as a manufacturing country, we will also have to continue supporting the processing industry.”

There’s no denying the importance of resources to South Africa, and indeed to Africa, but surely there is life after gold? After all, if there’s one thing that history has taught us, it is that stagnation has been the downfall of many an empire – both in terms of countries and businesses.

We have seen that the success of much of the western world, and the United States of America in particular, has been in becoming a post-industrial society, represented by a shift from provision of goods to services and an increased reliance on white- collar as opposed to blue-collar work. It’s true that this does not come without its own problems, and I’m not suggesting this as an end to itself, but rather that we need to take the lessons out of these changes that contributed to those nations’ economic and social successes and implement them here to the extent they are relevant.

We cannot continue to rely on those things that we have always done to take us where we want to go.

Introduction

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THE SA BLOOK

“Business Unusual”? No, this is not a reference to corruption or to accounting scandals. In

“Business Unusual”? No, this is not a reference to corruption or to accounting scandals. In fact, this is our government’s approach to improving the quality of life of every South African. Surely it also means a commitment to developing our South African levels of creativity and knowledge… and therefore our [potentially highly valuable] intellectual capital?

As I said earlier, perhaps it’s time for us to reload, in two senses of the meaning:

it’s time for us to reload, in two senses of the meaning: • Reloading often refers

Reloading often refers to getting a fresh supply of ammunition ready for use in a weapon. Just like a bee without its sting is harmless, a weapon without ammunition is also harmless, and if South Africa is to play a significant role in the new global community [and economy], we are going to need some new ammunition, in the form of new ideas, new approaches and a strong emphasis on the importance of creating and increasing the value of our intangible assets [our intellectual capital] as opposed to our tangible assets.

Applied to technology, when something is reloaded it generally means overwriting what was originally in memory with new information. We have a history full of painful lessons, so how do we learn the lessons from this history without living and remaining in the past? For if we forget these lessons, we are no wiser now than we were when we made the mistakes, and if we keep living in the past, it becomes impossible for us to move into the future.

With the advent of a global technology revolution, we are watching history unfold and realities change as a global community increasingly becomes a reality.

With this in mind, I trust that this blook will stimulate our approach to handling these issues, as we learn to better appreciate South Africa’s amazing opportunities and better understand our role in envisioning and creating a planet-rocking, mouth- dropping, awe-inspiring future.

When the opportunities present themselves, let us be ready!

Introduction

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THE SA BLOOK

1. The New South Africa – is it real? By Siyabonga Nhlumayo I plough through

1. The New South Africa – is it real?

By Siyabonga Nhlumayo

I plough through the same route on my daily journey to the office, often passing the same motorists travelling in the opposite direction. One of the cars I use to gauge my progress is a black Mercedes Benz S-Class belonging to one of the executive directors of Eskom. Without fail, the driver of the vehicle always bares a mischievous grin that leaves me pondering whether he is chuckling over the antics of the Kaya FM breakfast show team booming through the Harmon Kardon sound system or is he laughing at my expense as I approach another traffic light ahead that has been affected by load shedding.

My thoughts drift to the large number of young men sitting on the side of Bowling Street waiting for contractors scouting for casual labour. I’ve noticed that the group has shrunk in size over the last few weeks. This could be attributed to the harsh cold weather

reminding us that the Highveld winter is upon us or it’s a symptom of the terrible xenophobic attacks that have gripped the nearby Alexander township. The rest of the trip is filled with anxiety as I approach the stretch of road marked by potholes and traffic lights that have flickering red for the last three weeks with no sign of a maintenance crew.

The signs of despair are all too evident

The signs of despair are all too evident on the faces of motorists flanking my car. Over and above the thoughts of lost productivity as we compete for the narrow piece of tarmac, there are is the thought of rising inflation rates, interest rates and transport costs mugging the consumer off their hard earned income.

costs mugging the consumer off their hard earned income. There are further distractions as I approach

There are further distractions as I approach my place of refuge, the office. Firstly, the number of newspaper billboards on lamp posts that remind us of corruption at government departments, instruct us on why we should fear the rule of one Jacob Gedleyahlekisa Zuma or the prelude to another story of a Black Economic Empowerment (“BEE”) deal that his been placed on the back burner while the vendor looks for guidance on new BEE cliques to emerge post Polokwane. Then there is rant by a broadcaster with a fading Irish accent. He is sharing one of his daily opinions which will no doubt end up featuring prominently at dinner table discussions in Gauteng and later become conventional wisdom.

In the short space of 30 minutes, I see many images that contradict Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s notion of the “rainbow nation”. News bulletins no longer refer to Mandela’s children, the centre stage is hogged by brave men who have perfected the art of toppling cash in transit vehicles or making withdrawals at Automated Teller Machines with mining explosives. The only time I get to hear President Thabo Mbeki’s “I am an African speech” is on youth radio where the president has been cleverly sampled into a kwaito/mid-tempo house song.

1. The New South Africa – is it real?

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Is the new South Africa real?

Is the new South Africa real? Ignoring the stern directives from our Reserve Bank governor, I

Ignoring the stern directives from our Reserve Bank governor, I often visit the township of Klipspruit Extension 5 in Soweto to do my shopping at the new Maponya Mall. Mr. Richard Maponya, the brainchild behind the grand development, proclaimed that Maponya Mall is the largest shopping centre in South Africa. This statement would have irritated the owners of Gateway Shopping Centre overlooking the sugarcane plantations of Mount Edgecombe, however, I can’t fault the man for his enthusiasm.

The mall is more than a shopping Mecca for Soweto residents, the development is a beacon of hope for so many entrepreneurs who have never been encouraged to seize the day. Soweto dwellers couldn’t have imagined that a development of this magnitude containing a tenant mix of luxury fashion retailers and young entrepreneurs selling sishweshwe dresses could be found right at their door step.

As you leave the mall you notice the number of families crossing Old Potchefstroom Road carrying plastic bags stuffed with groceries from the two large supermarkets at the mall. This small observation strikes me because I know that prior to Nelson Mandela officially opening the mall on that cold and miserable afternoon in September

2007, Soweto residents had to catch connecting taxis to the Johannesburg CBD to purchase the bare essentials. They now have optometrists, Laundromats and a smorgasbord of banking facilities within walking distance or at a cost of a local taxi fare.

The development is a beacon of hope for so many entrepreneurs

Service delivery has been a huge challenge for the government of national unity, however, we have acted very miserly when giving airtime for some of the achievements. My small township of KwaDlangezwa in Northern KwaZulu Natal no longer relies on infrequent patrols by the South African Defence Force military to keep the criminals at bay. We now have our own police station and a patrol vehicle for rapid response. I also get the feeling that other township dwellers across the country are more at ease with report any transgressions to police within the community.

I envy the young kids growing up in KwaDlangezwa, they have a park with facilities that were foreign when I was growing up. Furthermore, the entire township road infrastructure has been tarred and lampposts are now functioning. The extent of the load shedding experienced around the country during January 2008 was paltry compared to the blackouts that came close to ruining so many weddings preparations and made sure that candles were a common feature in our home.

The stories of the real South Africa are often not told in the main stream media, however, to many South Africans we have come a long way. There is much work to be done and I think this country has the men and women to achieve the goals of the nation.

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2. Is SA rich or poor?

By Geoff Candy and Hilton Tarrant

Are we rich? And could we also be poor?

The answer we would venture is: both.

could we also be poor? The answer we would venture is: both. Indeed the contrasts between

Indeed the contrasts between the rich and poor elements of South Africa are at the heart of much of the art and conflict that respectively unite and rip apart the country.

So, in what way are we rich?

From a tourism point of view, our country is phenomenally wealthy with every sort of destination - barring the polar icecaps - pretty much on our doorstep. We also still have some of the cheapest land, particularly coastal property, in the world.

In terms of raw natural resources, South Africa is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. The bushveld igneous complex contains about 90% of the world's known platinum reserves, 80% of the manganese, 73% of the chrome, and 45% of the vanadium. The country is also the world's third-largest diamond miner by value, with its annual production of around 15m carats making it the fifth largest.

Until very recently, we were the largest gold producer in the world

Gold too is something we are blessed with and, until very recently, we were the largest gold producer in the world (until China took our number 1 spot!)

On the topic of China, both South Africa and the rest of the continent have a rich and deepening relationship with China - which stands us in good stead as that country continues to grow with its voracious appetite for raw materials.

As a renowned business strategist, and one of only three people to be invited to speak at the Chinese central party school in the last 50-odd years, Clem Sunter said of the superpower and South Africa: "They regard us as the leading nation on their continent of choice - what they feel is that the West in many ways has forsaken Africa, and they regard this continent very much as full of opportunities, whereas the West has seen it a bit as a developmental burden."

Proof of this recently has to be the investment by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China into Standard Bank which, at R37bn, is the largest investment by a Chinese company outside Chinese borders.

The deal has been a massive boost for Standard Bank, who is sitting on a pile of cash in turbulent markets, when it is a very good thing to have. Some of this cash won't ever see our shores directly, as Standard Bank has kept most of this money offshore for acquisitions. Profits from those ventures, however, will channel into SA. Indeed South Africa, largely as a result of exchange controls, which limit the ease

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with which one can transport money in and out of the country, has been only

with which one can transport money in and out of the country, has been only very slightly affected by all this sub-prime turmoil.

But, as far as the deal is concerned, although it is massive it is hardly surprising when one thinks of the quality of our banking system. While, there are huge parts of the population that do not even have a bank account - there are projects afoot to increase that number (the Mzansi account for example). And, although these sorts of programmes take time, in that flurry it is easy to miss the fact that the South African banking system, in Bankserv, has one of the most sophisticated payments exchanges in the world.

This could be the reason we pay so much for bank fees but, then again at least the competition authorities are looking into that.

The country not only has a very strong banking system, it also has a thriving stock exchange - the largest in Africa and it continues to grow.

Last year there were upwards of 70 new listings on the bourse and retail interest in the market is increasing - although as JSE CEO, Russell Loubser says, the number of South Africans with stock broking accounts in their own name is well below 10% of the tax paying population, but adds there is no reason this can't get increased to 50%. Not to mention, the JSE is also the largest single-stock futures market in the world if one looks at it from number of contracts sold.

the world if one looks at it from number of contracts sold. Indeed many of the

Indeed many of the country's companies punch well above their weight internationally. Both Anglo American and BHP Billiton emanate from South Africa in some way or another and they are two of the four largest diversified mining stocks in the world.

Anglo American is worth $90bn while BHP Billiton's market capitalisation is over

$230bn.

Sasol too has done phenomenally well for its self; it has just recently finished construction on its Oryx gas to liquids plant in Qatar and remains at the forefront of technology to convert coal and gas into liquid fuel.

From humble origins in South Africa 100 years ago, SAB started with a share capital of £350 000 and £300 000 of debentures it is now a global powerhouse with brewing interests and distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents. SABMiller is worth about $40bn.

MTN has also done amazing things in the telecoms space and has grown rapidly since it was created. It is currently in the throes of a deal which will see it gain significant presence in India.

On this topic, however, is where we start to fall down.

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In the telecommunication space, South Africa is falling behind (quickly) and much of that has

In the telecommunication space, South Africa is falling behind (quickly) and much of that has to do with broadband access.

Our access to international bandwidth (until very recently) has been monopolised (through Telkom's restrictive ownership of the SAT-3 undersea cable which links us to the world). Our mobile charges are also high when compared to the rest of the world, but thankfully certain positive strides are being taken in this space (like the launch of second fixed-line operator Neotel and new undersea cable Seacom).

Power is also a problem but, while it feels as though we have been battling load shedding for eons, until the recent short-sightedness and poor management - South Africa had more energy than it knew what to do with - so much so that it was actually closing power stations. In fact, the utility is still in the top 20 in terms of size and produces almost 40 000MW of power.

The load shedding has, however, made the lives of South Africans much poorer and, what is worse is that while many have recently felt the frustration of no power, even more people are yet to experience electricity in any form at all.

The perception internationally is one of disbelief at the lack of thinking that went into creating this crisis

The lack of secure power has affected business a great deal and growth has slowed dramatically in the last quarter as a result of it but an R300bn improvement and build programme is underway at last.

All that said, the perception internationally at the moment is one of disbelief at the

lack of thinking that went into creating this crisis and has done our international image no good.

Nor has our drop in the ratings about the ease with which companies can do business in our country.

Every year, the World Bank publishes the Doing Business Report, which looks at the regulations various countries impose on businesses that make doing business more difficult. In 2006, South Africa ranked 28th in the world, a respectable showing. We slipped to 29th in 2007, and in the latest rankings, for 2008, we are down to 35.

While South Africa has not necessarily been moving backwards in terms of the ease of doing business in our country, other countries have been reforming rapidly as globalisation becomes an ever-more present reality.

The World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitive Index shows a fall for South Africa from 36th position in 2006 to 44th position in 2007, while the International Institute for Management Development's World Competitiveness Yearbook for 2007 highlights South Africa's 12-place fall from grace. It has dropped 50th position in a ranking of 55 countries.

As Sunter writes, "So why, according to these surveys, has South Africa slipped almost to the bottom of the 'Premier League' - into the so-called 'Relegation Zone'?

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Maybe, it has to do with the haemorrhaging 'brain drain' and the increasing shortage of

Maybe, it has to do with the haemorrhaging 'brain drain' and the increasing shortage of skills. Maybe, it is our rising cost base. Maybe, we haven't matched the productivity gains obtained by the countries in the ascendant. Maybe, the overseas perception of political risk in South Africa has changed for the worse. Whatever the causes, there's no denying that we are in danger of losing our 'Premier League' status along with all the perks that go with it (like a seat on the UN Security Council, being seen as the leading voice in Africa and being considered a partner of choice by China)."

Crime too plays its role with the recent ‘xenophobia' attacks not helping our cause - especially when we are so desperately in need of foreign skills to help us return to higher growth levels and reach our 6% growth target by 2010.

Foreign investment is crucially important at the moment

Ad van Wijk, the CEO of Dutch power company Econcern told Tycoon recently: "If you look, and I am an outsider, so all you see and hear is what is reported in the news, we see a country that is really not the poorest, but is underdeveloped. And, there is still a lot of violence and riots and you see a lot of Europeans who do not think of investing in the country for that reason."

"I am sure there are very large areas where you will never have these riots or the violence but the perception is that it is everywhere and that means it will block foreign investment that would otherwise have come in."

Of course foreign investment is crucially important at the moment because of another major poor element of South Africa - our current-account deficit. In simple terms we import many more goods than we export which means we owe, on a weekly basis upwards of R12bn a week to pay for this difference. And, we get that through people investing in our country, buying our stocks and land, and looking to start businesses here.

But, if we do not create an environment that international businesses want to come to, they will go elsewhere because, while we are rich in many ways, we are equally poor in others.

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3. What the world thinks of South Africa By Grant Brewer Understanding South Africa is

3. What the world thinks of South Africa

By Grant Brewer

Understanding South Africa is a challenge. It is a country full of paradoxes and extremes. As the setting of one of the most remarkable political transformations in modern history, it is also home to widespread poverty and mind–numbing violent crime. We remain trapped by past beliefs in our strengths — such as the idea that South Africa is a rich country because of its mineral wealth, or that our extraordinary political transition owes us opportunities in a global economy — and we're struggling to define what exactly we contribute to and how we relate to the world around us. How do all these things come together to forge a nation that can define its own meaning for the twenty first century, and in doing so create an emerging land of opportunity.

Any perspective on South Africa held by someone living outside of South Africa is largely defined by current events as reported by the media. This is especially true as South Africa is just not as important an emerging market as Brazil, China, India or Russia (the so–called BRIC emerging markets) and therefore doesn’t get as much analysis.

Sadly, the view of South Africa across the world is often defined by global television news networks. Sadly, because their focus on sound–bytes and the five–minute news reports often doesn’t allow a comprehensive investigation of the details. And after the recent xenophobic violence in Gauteng and other parts of the country that has been flashed across international television screens, it is difficult to think of a broad perspective on how people outside of South Africa think of our country. But let us start at the beginning and not lose sight of many other perspectives that are relevant.

The home of Nelson Mandela Although interest is waning, since it is eighteen years since Mr Mandela’s long walk to freedom became headline news and fourteen years since South Africa became a democracy, South Africa has a special place in the world as the home of Nelson Mandela, Arch–Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, and the home of one of the most remarkable political transformations in modern history.

most remarkable political transformations in modern history. 3. What the world thinks of South Africa As

3. What the world thinks of South Africa

As a country youthful in its democracy and living through the growing pains of democracy, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the relatively peaceful transformation seemed very unlikely back in 1989 at a time when communism and the Berlin wall were collapsing. Growing pains are exactly that: a painful but passing phase, and if one takes a broader perspective some of the frustrations and issues may be stepping stones to a better future.

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We just haven’t got to the end of the South African story yet. I’m reminded

We just haven’t got to the end of the South African story yet. I’m reminded that India celebrates sixty years of independence this year, and despite areas of progress, there are many areas where there is room for improvement in the sub–continent. We shouldn’t over–estimate the benefit of our political transformation. We’re trading on our past if we think that the world will remain interested and supportive purely because we were something of a miracle in the past. We’ve got to focus on creating something fresh and positive for the world to be interested in.

A sophisticated emerging market

South Africa has the largest and most developed economy in Africa. Informed foreigners know that South Africa has:

A well developed capital market that is well regulated.

Well functioning corporate and tax law

Good infrastructure, including modern telecommunications (despite it being at too high a cost and with too little competition).

A well established political system.

One of the most sophisticated and effective constitutions in the world, and definitely in Africa.

The status as one of only two defined emerging markets in Africa, the other being Egypt.

Despite our challenges, we’re a lot further down the road than other countries in Africa (and indeed than many other emerging markets) and well positioned to develop in the future. South Africa is a country rich in mineral resources. For the past 105 years it has been the leading producer of gold, a position

recently taken by China. Certainly, South Africa still is seen as a mining giant amongst world economies.

South Africa has the largest and most developed economy in Africa

A gateway to Africa

For many people & companies from western Europe and North America, South Africa has been the gateway into Africa for many companies in a post–democracy world. This isn’t necessarily true of countries in the East, such as India and China, which have their own trade routes into Africa. As Africa becomes a new frontier for Chinese foreign investment (such as the investment in Standard Bank, which is the largest Chinese foreign investment in Africa), South Africa is certainly in the sights of Chinese organisations.

A global destination

South Africa is the world of the safari and of inescapable natural beauty. We shouldn’t try to escape the opportunities of tourism. There is no doubt it is a beautiful land with wonderful weather and incredible visual beauty. Indeed, South Africa is the Cradle of Human Kind.

And, as we host the 2010 World Cup, we will further make South Africa a destination. South Africans seem to be the most pessimistic about the country’s ability to host the competition. They forget that when Mexico or Brazil hosted the competition, they

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were not as modernised as South Africa is today. The World Cup, despite requiring an

were not as modernised as South Africa is today. The World Cup, despite requiring an enormous investment from government, is a great opportunity to showcase South Africa and leave TV viewers with the understanding that the country is a well developed emerging market and not a backwater at the tip of Africa.

A country struggling to define itself In some ways, any perspective on South Africa seems inextricably linked to politics and the transition to democracy only fourteen years ago. As a young democracy, wrestling with change, South Africa is struggling to find its own place in the world. South Africa is frequently a paradox: sophisticated and developed in one breath, and crippled by a disastrous government reaction to humanitarian crisis and terrifying violence in another.

A rogue democracy The Washington Post published an article in which it describes South Africa as a “rogue democracy”, suggesting that this new category of state be defined just for South Africa. The issue is that South Africa has “actively blocked United Nations discussions about human rights abuses in Zimbabwe — and in Belarus, Cuba, North Korea and Uzbekistan. South Africa was the only real democracy to vote against a resolution demanding that the Burmese junta stop ethnic cleansing and free jailed dissident Aung San Suu Kyi.” 1 Worse, “In the General Assembly, South Africa fought against a resolution condemning the use of rape as a weapon of war because the resolution was not sufficiently anti-American” 2 , and this in a country plagued by a high incident of rape. These issues extend back over some time and reflect a country struggling to understand how it relates to other countries, in and outside of Africa, and the major issues challenging our world today. In the name of perceived ideals meant to give everyone a fair hearing and justice, South Africa stands in the way of decisions that would benefit the oppressed peoples of the developing world.

This foreign policy stance makes understanding South Africa complex. The next election will usher in a new administration that needs to define how it will react to these issues in the future, without giving up on the notable morale high ground which South Africa is attempting to hold following its own transition to democracy. The country’s stance mirrors the current President’s own struggle to define his view of South Africa’s role in the modern world. Thabo Mbeki’s bizarre stance on HIV Aids and the crisis in Zimbabwe, demonstrate at its most destructive, the confusion the current presidency has brought upon our country.

Xenophobia When I first started writing this piece, the intention was to focus mostly on positive perceptions of the country. However, the last few weeks changed that. It would be impossible to explore what people think of South Africa without considering the impact of the graphic images of violence, despair and dislocation that flew across television screens across the globe. That our government’s response was inadequate goes without saying — in all truth, despite initial reservations of some of the ideals of the probable next ANC administration, they couldn’t have done any worse. Our president has lost touch with the people (and probably did so a long time ago). For the first time in a long while, I was embarrassed to be South African. It will be a long and winding road back to credible relations with other African countries.

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Opportunities for Africa — finding our place in the world South Africa has yet to

Opportunities for Africa — finding our place in the world South Africa has yet to find and define its place in the world. We remain trapped by our past beliefs in our strengths — such as the idea that South Africa is a rich country because of its mineral wealth, or that our extraordinary political transition owes us opportunities in a global economy — and we’re struggling to define what exactly we contribute to and how we relate to the world around us.

South Africa needs a sense of purpose. Instead of complaining about the affects of globalisation, we need to accept that, like it or not, we are a smaller emerging market that needs to find a way to compete with larger emerging markets such as China or India or Brazil. It would be pointless to try to go head to head with Chinese low cost manufacturing. That market has gone for South Africa. For example, our textile industry is unlikely ever to get the benefits of scale and labour flexibility that enable the Chinese to undercut the price point of manufacturers in South Africa.

Instead, we need to define our own path. We need to define what it is that we’re going to excel at. There are examples of South African greatness: from the Rupert family, through MTN and SAB Miller, to Mark Shuttleworth. Perhaps we need a rallying call to a common purpose: the kind of leadership that JF Kennedy demonstrated in rallying the US in the early sixties through a call to put people on the moon. South Africans should be turning their attention toward the east, to India and China to uncover opportunities. The secret to many strategy challenges is to define a clear sense of direction that creates meaning and purpose for the people that need to execute the strategy. Hopefully the next administration will learn something from general organisational strategy.

will learn something from general organisational strategy. Nick Binedell from the Gordon Institute for Business Science

Nick Binedell from the Gordon Institute for Business Science (GIBS) once described South Africa as a pioneering frontier town. There is a lot of merit in using this lens, reminiscent of western films, to understand opportunity in South Africa in the future. Frontiers are all about enormous opportunities, usually coupled with pretty substantial risk. Fortune, in a frontier, will favour the brave. Frontiers are also full of unlucky people and missed opportunities; frontier’s people just don’t let these inevitable failures weigh them down. Perhaps South African’s need to learn how to be proud, how to love their whole country (not just parts of it) and to see the opportunities for what they are: unique opportunities for contribute to the development of a country, its people and themselves.

Education that gets people engaged into the economy is the key to the future South Africa certainly needs to realise that it can be a more prosperous and influential country because of the strength of its people. But we under–estimate the affect of apartheid on the skills, confidence & capabilities of South Africans. This means that we should have a far more dramatic focus on education of all levels, especially in the sciences. Raising the capabilities of our people is a non-negotiable requirement.

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The question of what these people should do, even if (or when) educated immediately arises?

The question of what these people should do, even if (or when) educated immediately arises? The challenge for South Africa is engage more of its people into the economy and into life. We can’t possibly continue in the future with so many people in the country literally excluded from life by poverty and unemployment. There probably isn’t a short term fix and any change starting with education, poverty relief and some of kind of public works program will only have an affect across generations and not over a few years.

Pragmatically, we should accept that the next administration that takes office after the general election next April will result in bigger government. The new administration will be seeking more direct involvement in the development of the country. Before we shout that idea down, we should recognise that the so–called eastern tiger economies largely benefited (and many still do) from a benevolent autocratic state.

Capitalising on natural resources The impact of South Africa’s mineral resource “riches” on the economy has been diminishing for some time, and certainly the economy has grown far beyond mining (or agriculture) alone. However, there is a global commodity boom at the moment, led by the demand for natural resources in places such as China. We may not have

a backyard full of oil, but the demand for precious metals is going to last for a good few years yet and South Africa should be position to take more advantage of it. In particular, the country should be exploring how it can support investments downstream to add more value to the minerals before they get exported.

A similar focus could be turned to agriculture. We may not have a perfect climate for

all crops, but we do have substantial land mass and a well established agriculture sector. At the minimum the country should be focused on ensuring it can feed itself from its own farming of basic foods. Then there is a global food shortage to take advantage of. Streamlining our agricultural sector and the policies that govern it, along with dealing with land distribution issues transparently and rapidly is going to be necessary. We can’t really afford for the agricultural sector to go into a long term decline. Like the Zimbabwe tobacco industry, our capabilities will fall away very rapidly if we don’t pay attention.

Developing an information economy

If education is sorted out over the next decade, the next generation of students will

be better placed to contribute to the global information economy. Education, especially in the sciences is the requirement since the information economy doesn’t

help poorly educated and largely unemployed people. The opportunity is for South Africa to operate more in software, design, film, business process outsourcing and similar knowledge rich services. If we can’t compete with the day to labour costs of China in manufacturing, then we’ll need to leap ahead to the service economy more dramatically.

Facing up to our challenges means stepping out of denial at all levels in our society

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Making the most of the 2010 World Cup The World Cup is going to put

Making the most of the 2010 World Cup The World Cup is going to put South Africa visually on the television screens of almost two thirds of the planet. Despite the costs and the investment required, the country has committed and as a result it is an opportunity to show case South Africa that shouldn’t be missed. We can demonstrate that we’re a developed emerging market. We can show case our vibrant and energetic culture. Most of all we can demonstrate that South Africa can pull off the World Cup and that is can be done in Africa.

Facing up to the challenges of globalisation Facing up to our challenges means stepping out of denial at all levels in our society. It means having a government that communicates and shares information, ideas and services to create a truly citizen–centric country that unlocks the human potential of South Africans. Accepting globalisation will mean embracing the opportunities that globalisation brings and working with its limitations and frustrations — globalisation isn’t going away anytime soon. The world isn’t a fair place; large countries are self– interested, and yes, there is racism and inequality in the constant question of whether Africa can normalise its politics and become a more self sustaining economically. But the world doesn’t owe South African anything. We don’t have to agree with these inefficiencies in global economics and politics. It simply means that we need to be better at operating in a global economy, where we shape our own identity and forge our own destiny.

1. The Depot’s Democracy by Michael Gerson, Washington Post, 28 May 2008.

2. ibid.

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4. The importance of each individual’s contribution – collectively By Nicholas Haralambous Writing is a

4. The importance of each individual’s contribution – collectively

By Nicholas Haralambous

Writing is a passion for me and one that has taken me to heights that I haven’t even begun to consider. I love it. I love it almost as much as I love South Africa. However that love is not always present and accounted for. Yes there are things that I am unhappy with and yes I have considered leaving SA because I can. But I am not leaving because I truly believe that my attempts to better the place that I call my home are making a difference.

South African’s exist, we live, we love, we are passionate and we thrive where others would probably not. But sometimes contributing to this state and nation is a very difficult task. Sometimes enough can be enough, with the traffic, with the crime, with the absolute rubbish that we all have to put up with sometimes (the recent “xenophobic” attacks to name a recent incident).

But sometimes these things are tiny little blessings in disguise. And sometimes simply existing is not enough.

in disguise. And sometimes simply existing is not enough. The Individual Every human being has the

The Individual Every human being has the desire ingrained within them to do two things:

To Live

To Procreate

Obviously this is very base and simplified. There are, and have been proven to be, other desires but for the purposes of this piece let us speak of two for now.

When I speak of living I do not mean comfortably or successfully. I mean to literally stay alive. Death is of no practical assistance to anyone in anyone’s life.

Procreation is important for obvious reasons that I wont delve in to. But when children are placed in to the equation as a focus then things change and options become more limited. Bear with me. Imagine you cannot afford to fend for you children, to keep them alive - breaking the first basic human instinct - then you begin to fight for your life and the lives of your offspring. This is where I believe that many South Africans are right now. Poverty rates are high in SA, employment is low, and educating the masses is not happening and is thus leaving those with jobs unsatisfied and relatively poor anyways.

The point here is that when your basic human rights are infringed upon the individual can be forced to react in any ways possible. This can be violence, innovation, entrepreneurship, charity or any means that comes to the fore.

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It is at this point when individuals begin acting without a community. The human experience

It is at this point when individuals begin acting without a community. The human experience exists in different ways for every person in the world. This others people and leaves them feeling alone. When people in a community begin to feel alone, they begin to act alone and act dangerously for themselves and the greater community.

The current state of affairs in South Africa (SA) make the above clear and present. Desperate times call for desperate measures. There is no justification for harming another human being and many criminal acts are just that; criminal acts by people who deserve to be in jail. But one thing leads to another and before you know it you have anarchy.

The recent xenophobic attacks in SA are an example of individuals acting without a community and pulling other marginalised people towards one another. Then you have mobs forming and criminal acts occurring that should not be taking place. My personal opinion regarding the attacks is that the people committing these acts are people who would otherwise probably be committing other criminal acts anyways. It irks me that these crimes are being called xenophobic acts when in fact there are South Africans being affected and the crime is just as bad whether it happens to foreigners or to locals. Crime is crime.

The Community

The greater community is an important faction of any group, organisation, country, family or any gathering and co-existing of people. Individuals make up communities. We all know this and this is not a new discovery that I have just made. But for some reasons communities do not realise their power and

strength. This strength comes from the individual within a community acting together and sharing a common ideal. I have chosen the word ideal specifically. I do not want to share a goal with another person. I want to share an ideal, a way of thinking, living, being and existing. Goals are things that people who share an ideal achieve together.

Communities do not realise their power and strength

There are many different ideals that exist in SA right now. There are many ideals that exist everywhere in fact. But in many places some ideals are shared by many people in a community and that community can thrive and achieve their common goals.

The xenophobic attacks are proof of this. A small group of people (when you take the entire countries population in to account) banded together and displaced thousands upon thousands of other people. This is the misguided strength and power of a community of people acting with a shared and horrifying ideal. This is mob mentality and unison at its worst. This is not the way that our country should exist. If only the thousands upon thousands of foreigners shared an ideal and acted on it. They would have rightfully defended their basic human rights to live and protect their offspring. But the sad truth about marginalised majority communities is that they never see the power that they hold by the sheer numbers that they have.

Since I started SA Rocks I have been hammering on about a mind shift that I believe is taking place. It is taking place in my opinion. SA Rocks is proof of this. Thousands of people visit and experience this positive blog every month and take in the positivity that my readers and I exude. This is a start.

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I am an individual acting within a community and making a difference. The only catch

I am an individual acting within a community and making a difference. The only catch

is that it is not quick. Nothing that is ever great, long lasting and memorable is every quick. Change is never quick. Ever. Yet it can be viral. Positivity in SA has gone viral. Individuals who believe in this country have begun to feel confident in this ideal enough to start spreading the word. It takes on catalyst to throw change in to motion. One person to tell ten, ten to tell ten more, those hundred people to tell just one and those hundred people to tell two and so on and so on.

The community thrives off the success of the community and the individuals within the community.

Two things have come out of the xenophobic attacks. Firstly people have realised that life is not all roses for everyone in SA. Secondly people have begun to want to change, help, aid and be charitable. People have woken up. If anything good has come out of these attacks it is a greater sense of community that marginalised people have begun to feel. We have vociferously defied these acts and revolted against them with acts of kindness. The fact that we can stand together whether in thought, action or opinion, against these acts means that there is hope. There is hope if we all believe that right is right and wrong is wrong.

The community is starting to defy these acts of horror, whether 50 people are murdered or one child is harmed the reaction is beginning to become action, positive action.

I am not going to discuss the individuals who leave the community because free will,

choice and economic bracket allows these individuals to leave and contribute to other communities. That is there choice and their right and I applaud them for making the hard decision to uproot their lives and move away. It is difficult. But it is not helping our community practically.

It might be helping our community theoretically and mentally. Negativity within a community only breeds negativity and negative action. The opposite also applies.

Positivity breeds positive action.

The Leader Thabo Mbeki is the perfect living, walking embodiment of the community electing a leader and a leader acting and marginalising him. Mbeki’s idealisms got in the way. His African Renaissance blurred his vision and in all of that he lost his Africanism and his people. He is now an individual without a community. Mbeki has so distanced himself from his own community that the community began acting beyond the power of his government. He is no longer the leader of his community he is now the figurehead of a government that does not relate to its community and often does not act within the community’s best interest. This invariably leads to the demise of the community and that of the country as a whole. All in all, it’s a bad thing, to put it plainly.

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The Action Action is the key to the resolution of our problems. Not just any

The Action Action is the key to the resolution of our problems. Not just any action, positive action.

There are many different types of action that form different value points to the community. Negative action has its place. It creates unity and binds people together in their misery, sadness and discontentment. If people are unified in their

dissatisfaction they rally to find answers and solutions. Everything takes place can yield positive outcomes. It all depends on the mind set that you have while you are experiencing something and the mindset that

you have when you come out of something. Negative or positive.

Action is the key to the resolution of our problems

The Million Man March is a fantastic example of negativity resulting in a community of individuals who share the same ideal, coming together in the hope of change. Change might not be the outcome of the march but hundreds of thousands of people coming together, out of adversity - in this case crime, to stand together and fight for their ideal is magnificent.

Now let us hope that one person changes the attitude of another and this mind shift begins to spread across the nation. Change begins with one person changing his or her own attitude. Positive action stems from this change.

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5. SA Inc and the business of doing business in SA By Paul Jacobson Ramble

5. SA Inc and the business of doing business in SA

By Paul Jacobson

Ramble on

A complete treatment of this topic would probably take up a number of hefty volumes so this chapter is not intended to cover all aspects of doing business in South Africa. There are many brilliant, knowledgeable and expert writers and professionals in South Africa who could speak far more authoritatively on the range of topics that fall under the general header of “SA Inc and the business of doing business in South Africa”.

Instead I am going to mention two topics which I am both passionate about, regard as two very hot topics in the near future and which are, themselves, are subjects of entire books and which SA Business should bear in mind when doing business in South Africa: privacy and content licensing. These topics are going to be of interest for those businesses which are interested in or involved in the growing social media space.

While content licensing and privacy are the topics that tend to attract the most attention when I chat to business people about them, freedom of expression and unlawful competition are two topics I won’t deal with in this chapter due to space considerations in the context of this blook as a whole but which are arguably equally important. Which topics are more relevant and therefore important to you may be a matter of perspective depending on what your focus may be at a given point in time.

Privacy has always been an issue business has had to tackle

Privacy Privacy has always been an issue business has had to tackle although not terribly vigorously. Privacy issues in the workplace have often included personal communications and personal relationships in the workplace and have been dealt with through internal policies on issues ranging from the acceptable use of the organisation’s IT infrastructure to policies that deal with the prickly topic of sexual harassment.

The need to give substance to the right to privacy in the Bill of Rights and the increasing amount of personal information that is becoming available both online and offline in all spheres (and the growing need to safeguard that potentially sensitive information) have given rise to draft legislation presently doing the rounds in our legislature.

This is not a new process and in many ways the draft legislation mirrors developments abroad, including in the European Union. Without going into the legislation in much detail (yet another volume in itself), it defines personal information and through a series of voluntary and mandatory mechanisms it seeks to strike a balance between the need to safeguard personal information when processed by public (for example, government bodies) and private (for example, businesses)

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bodies, the need to protect and give substance to the right to privacy and the

bodies, the need to protect and give substance to the right to privacy and the desire to facilitate the appropriate flow of personal information.

I use an extract from the draft legislation in a presentation I give on these topics and in which I highlight some of the examples of personal information. Although few people can actually read the extract in the slide because the font is so small, the highlights demonstrate the fairly broad scope of the definition and highlight the need to take a more active interest in how this draft legislation may impact on South African businesses.

draft legislation may impact on South African businesses. An unfortunate consequence of a growing complexity of

An unfortunate consequence of a growing complexity of issues pertinent to business is that it is necessary to introduce a range of measures to reduce and manage the risks that accompany this growing complexity. One of these measures, at least in this context, is a clear privacy policy that informs both internal stakeholders and customers what personal information the company is collecting and how that personal information is being used. These uses are guided by the draft legislation and it is vital that this information be communicated to these people.

The draft legislation also envisages imposing a series of obligations on businesses to

secure their stores of personal information and to retain that personal information

subject to specified guidelines. Add a range of exemptions and prohibitions to the

mix and businesses are facing a far more complex privacy landscape which needs to

be navigated with considerable care.

Bottom line: things are about to become really interesting in this space.

Content licensing

For the most part Business SA either doesn’t think too much about copyright or

views it as a shield to protect it from the horrors that ravage the intellectual property countryside that include plagiarists and unimaginative bloggers who are too loose

with the “Copy” and “Paste” commands.

Copyright certainly has a valuable place in that intellectual property countryside. One of its most important functions is to protect original content and, in the process, it encourages content creators to develop more original content. The difficulty with copyright is that, as a bundle of exclusive rights, it does not always fit in well with the growing social media trend (if you can call it that) and with consumers’ desires and habits.

One question I often ask people is how many of them tend to download or copy

interesting content they see on the Web without thinking too much about little things

like

who owns the copyright in that content and whether consuming that content in

that

way is consistent with the copyright owner’s intentions and rights. At the risk of

oversimplifying the issues, people want to go online and freely share what they find with their friends, family and colleagues. This act of sharing often takes the form of copied text and images being distributed by email, printed out and passed around or even incorporated into blogs and other online social media platforms.

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The problem with this tendency, of course, is that many of these uses are forms

The problem with this tendency, of course, is that many of these uses are forms of copyright infringement and while there are a number of exceptions to general copyright infringement the exceptions themselves are sometimes not terribly clear or helpful.

There is an alternative to simply relying on the protections afforded by copyright and its exceptions to copyright infringement. If your goal, as a content creator, is to ensure that your content is made available to the biggest audience possible within certain parameters which may protect your business model, the integrity of your content or ensure that any sharing perpetuates your open access ambitions then you will be thinking about some form of license for your content. The immediate challenge is how to properly license your content and make sure that the considerations that need to be addressed are, in fact addressed.

One option is to go to an attorney have a custom made license prepared. A license will grant its user certain rights in the content concerned which, in turn, will enable the user to make use of the content in a way that would ordinarily be prohibited. This has its advantages because you will have a license that does exactly what you want it to do (that is, permit certain uses and prohibit others). The disadvantages include the costs involved and the possible inability to understand the terms of the license unless you have degrees in Latin and advanced legalese.

unless you have degrees in Latin and advanced legalese. The second option will be far more

The second option will be far more appealing to many content creators. Creative Commons licenses are ready made content licences that permit a range of uses of content depending on the license adopted (there are six core licenses). These licenses are customisable to a degree in that you can choose which elements to include in your license to supplement elements that are built into every Creative Commons license, such as the ability to share the content privately, the requirement that authors of the content concerned be attributed properly and the perpetual term of the licenses. The rights granted by a Creative Commons license may include the ability to create a derivative work of the content (something like a remix of a song, perhaps?), the right to exploit a work commercially or perhaps the requirement that adaptations of the content be distributed under a similar Creative Commons license.

One thing for SA Business to bear in mind, especially in the push to integrate social media into an online presence, is that Creative Commons licenses can be powerful tools which can be used to help spread content as widely as possible. This makes a lot of sense where a business has a blog or otherwise publishes its content on the Web with the intention that it reach as many people as possible. Additional protocols like the recently introduced CC+ protocol enable businesses to integrate their commercial licenses into a non-commercial Creative Commons license. One benefit of this is to present a licensed version of the content that can be freely shared while preserving a commercial model. A good example of a service that uses a similar model is the popular tutorial service, Common Craft.

What I constantly find remarkable about these legal constructs is the very real impact they can have on creative expression. Although copyright was originally intended to protect and promote creative expression, it has become almost synonymous with protectionism and restrictions on content usage. It is unfortunate but it has paved the

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way for tools like Creative Commons licenses and similar free content licenses to free content

way for tools like Creative Commons licenses and similar free content licenses to free content creators to express themselves more freely secure in the knowledge that they have struck a balance between sharing and spreading their ideas and passions and, at the same time, ensuring that their content is used in a way that best achieves that expression. Just what form that expression takes and how it manifests will vary from one content creator to another, whether that content creator be an artist, a writer or Chief Executive blogging about his hopes and dreams for his company.

Levelling off

Without a doubt privacy and content licensing are critical issues that SA Business needs to pay careful attention to, especially as more and more local businesses provide services and publish content online. Two topics I wasn’t able to deal with in this chapter introduce further dimensions of complexity and perhaps greater challenges for many businesses: freedom of expression and unlawful competition. These seemingly unrelated topics come together in a very interesting and yet somewhat disturbing way for many businesses in the context of social media in particular and also merit very careful consideration.

One message I try to communicate whenever I speak about these topics is that as much as they may complicate an already confusing landscape, the risks they represent can (and should) be managed and, in the process, reduced. Doing so requires a little research and planning but the benefits of these foundational steps will soon become apparent in a variety of ways, all of which add to the tremendous promise and potential of doing business in South Africa.

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6. The beauty and grandeur that surrounds us By Kerry-Anne Gilowey No matter their political

6. The beauty and grandeur that surrounds us

By Kerry-Anne Gilowey

No matter their political stance, religion, social class or ethnicity, if there is one thing that all South Africans will agree on, it is that we surely live in one of the most diversely beautiful countries in the world.

Time after time this land has entranced me, thrilled me, charmed me, taken my breath away and hypnotised me with its beauty. I have been captivated by its complexities, and challenged by its rugged landscapes.

its complexities, and challenged by its rugged landscapes. I’ve walked through vineyards, forests and rose gardens,

I’ve walked through vineyards, forests and rose gardens, and I’ve driven along undulating roads bordered by fields of wheat and bright yellow canola. I’ve bounded through multi-coloured carpets of wild flowers in springtime on the West Coast, and I’ve hiked mountain paths lined with proteas, ericas and indigenous bulbs.

I’ve stood silently on top of Tygerberg Hill, Lion’s Head and Table Mountain, marvelling at the glory of the city stretched out before me. I’ve driven through the old Ciskei at night, stopping to hear the awesome silence and gaze at the shining mass of stars in the night-sky.

I’ve watched the sun rise over the distant Boland mountains, with their outlines crisp and purple and their tips covered in snow. I’ve watched the sun set over the ocean from Clifton 4th beach, and seen the fire-dancers turn the beach into a wonderland after dark.

I’ve thrown snowballs and made snowmen in the Ceres mountains, and I’ve had my breath whipped away jumping into the icy waters of the dark and brooding, yet oh-so-beautiful, Riviersonderend Canyon.

and brooding, yet oh-so-beautiful, Riviersonderend Canyon. I’ve sailed along a rope through the forest canopy in

I’ve sailed along a rope through the forest canopy in the lush, green Karkloof in KwaZulu-Natal, and I’ve jumped from a bridge, watching the dry river-bed of the Gouritz River rush up to meet me.

I’ve tasted the sweet, delicious, fresh water of a mountain stream in the Cederberg, and the rich, heady wines of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl.

I have quivered just a little whilst sitting on a quadbike, watching a female rhinoceros and her calf grazing a mere 5 metres away. I have seen cheetahs, sharks and seals, and I’ve held monkeys, fed a baby elephant and played with lion cubs.

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I’ve watched the lights of Mossel Bay flicker to life as dusk descends, transforming the

I’ve watched the lights of Mossel Bay flicker to life as dusk descends, transforming the bay into a glittering panorama, welcoming and cosy. I have seen a herd of wildebeest silhouetted on the crest of a hill, the sun setting behind them, and I’ve watched huge flocks of guinea fowl feeding in my suburban garden each morning.

I’ve watched scores of surfers taking on the waves at Victoria Bay and East London’s Nahoon Beach. I’ve kayaked along the Touws River in the Wilderness, and I’ve paddled quietly across the tranquil Knysna Lagoon in the late afternoon, the sound of waterfowl a perfect accompaniment to the gentle swishing of my oars.

I’ve travelled through the arid Karoo on a sweltering hot day, with only sheep and Karoobossies to break up the vast and strangely beautiful semi-desert landscape, and I’ve smelt the fresh, cool scent of Knysna’s milkwoods in the morning.

I have been on boat trips and helicopter flips, and I’ve travelled the Garden Route on a sturdy old steam train, through charming towns and across a shining lagoon.

I’ve said “Oh wow,”, “Isn’t that awesome?”, “Look at that!”, and “I don’t have words to express how beautiful that is,” more times than I can recall.

how beautiful that is,” more times than I can recall. I have lived in this land

I have lived in this land all my life. And I have loved this land for as long. And on a perfect winter’s day like today, with blue skies, wispy clouds, crisp air and a crystal-clear mountain in front of me, I have a strong feeling that this love is not unrequited.

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7. The importance of technology in SA’s global emergence By Justin Hartman Technology and globalisation

7. The importance of technology in SA’s global emergence

By Justin Hartman

Technology and globalisation go hand-in-hand. Globalisation unleashes technology, which in turn drives companies to plan production and sales on a global basis. Technology changes the work we do and the jobs created by it demand more education and training. It also changes the way business operates by transforming relationships between suppliers, producers, retailers and customers.

One aspect of globalisation that tends to be most apparent in almost every facet of life is the emergence of technology - particularly the way in which technology is globally integrating people of the world. The advent of the Internet has over the past decade provided a common platform upon which countries from all corners of the Earth are able to communicate and share information.

Global Emergence of the Information Age In the space of thirty years technology has caused widespread improvements in access to information and economic potential.

If you consider that just twenty five years ago the use of personal computers was still limited to a fairly small number of technologically advanced people while the majority of people produced documents with typewriters.

Twenty years ago, large and hefty mobile phones were carried only by a small number of users and some fifteen years ago only limited universities and scientists were using, or had even heard about, the Internet.

Today however computers, mobile technology and the Internet have transformed communication and commerce, creating entirely new ways for retailers and their customers to transact and for businesses to manage the flow of production and market their products.

to manage the flow of production and market their products. Websites, chat rooms, instant messaging systems,

Websites, chat rooms, instant messaging systems, email, forums and other Internet- based communication systems have made it much easier for people with common interests to find each other, exchange information, and collaborate which was almost unheard of until the Information Age.

Technology Transformation in South Africa With over 30 million subscribers the mobile industry in South Africa is booming. While this industry is largely controlled by the major mobile phone operators, making entry into the market difficult, almost every South African has access to mobile technology.

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Internet adoption in South Africa has been slow off the starting blocks. There are some

Internet adoption in South Africa has been slow off the starting blocks. There are some 5 million people accessing the Internet everyday and currently we have more than 1 million broadband subscribers yet these figures represent only a small portion of the population.

One of the primary reasons for the poor rate of adoption of broadband and the Internet, in comparison to the mobile industry, is the high-costs associated with going online. Added to this, South Africa has not had the technology or infrastructure to facilitate fast adoption rates and the early adopters have had to uncover defects and fund development of the technology further.

Technology facilitates the expansion of products, ideas, and resources among countries as well as people regardless of geographic location

Fortunately, over the last couple years, companies and local government have been investing heavily in Fibre optics and the infrastructure needed which will not only help drive costs down but also increase accessibility and adoption through the use of these improved technologies.

Leveraging Technology Technology facilitates the expansion of products, ideas, and resources among countries as well as people regardless of geographic location. Technology can be leveraged to create efficient and effective channels to exchange information and can be the catalyst for global integration.

The single greatest benefit of technology is its ability to multiply effort. This multiplier of technology turns the effort of one person into many.

Any business can leverage technology to work:

* Faster

* Productively

* Predictably

* Safer

* Efficiently

With the advances in technology any business can now do more with less.

Challenges and Successes As an emerging market South Africa has some fundamental issues affecting global emergence. Some of these include high-costs, low Internet penetration, unemployment and lack of education, yet despite this advances in technology are producing many positive changes in our society.

Technology innovations have created new jobs, promoted the growth of new markets, and increased international trade and investment but one of the biggest

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technology challenges we need to address, which makes us unique to first-world countries, is the

technology challenges we need to address, which makes us unique to first-world countries, is the major divide between mobile and Internet users.

The greatest opportunity that exists in our global emergence is the ability to understand how to use all this technology to our advantage

What is evidenced today is that only a small minority access the Internet while the majority of the population use their mobile phones for various tasks yet there is little to bridge the two users together.

The greatest opportunity that exists in

our global emergence is the ability to understand how to use all this technology to our advantage, bridge the gap between mobile and Internet users, and in turn solve the various communication and

technology problems that we are faced with as a developing country.

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8. Building brand South Africa

By Melissa Attree

8. Building brand South Africa By Melissa Attree To be successful a brand requires strong leadership,

To be successful a brand requires strong leadership, well-defined values and benefits and a credible communication strategy. Brand evangelists exist and the most well loved brands have become beacons of hope for many. Brand South Africa may not have all of the above but it has the key ingredients for success and an opportunity to create a most believable communication strategy.

All brands experience extreme highs and lows during a typical lifecycle, at its worst the end result of an extreme low is usually a loss of customer confidence. Yet the most successful brands have demonstrated staying power and an ability to bounce back; they’ve regained customer confidence, rebuilt what was lost and in most cases have surpassed all previous expectations.

South Africa is a brand, a brand that has experienced severe highs and lows throughout its history. Over the past few weeks however our most treasured brand has plummeted to what many would agree is a very severe low. During this critical run up to 2010 the current low levels of customer confidence are forcing us to take a proactive look at the future. (In my opinion that is. Some may choose to leave, others to ignore…I choose to stay and have chosen to take part in the creation of the ‘SA Blook - a constructive look at our present, our future and the opportunities that we have.’ )

South Africa is a brand, a brand that has experienced severe highs and lows throughout its history

In considering the future and ‘Building Brand South Africa’ I feel it’s necessary to take a look at some basic marketing and branding principles to establish an objective, sensible viewpoint and to encourage a new way of assessing our situation. These concepts also underpin the fact that South Africa is indeed a brand – the fact that it may lack a certain tangibility only makes the quest for marketing success more challenging, add to that

the fact that Brand South Africa’s customers can also be viewed as the brand custodians and it becomes slightly complex.

A brand’s customers (call them consumers or clients if you wish) are its foundation,

they are the life-force. A brand is not a fancy corporate identity or cool logo, a brand

is a collection of stories, emotions and experiences as shared by its customers.

Customers create brands.

With this in mind we need to acknowledge that the relationship between brands and customers has changed. Most marketers would agree that a large part of this shift is attributable to the online developments we’ve experienced. Think about how e-mail allowed for easier, quicker, ‘safer’ customer service contact. Fast forward a few years and web developments have created social media channels with the ability to facilitate genuine 2-way conversations between brands and customers.

There can be no doubt that there is a need to re-think ‘old school’ traditional marketing principles. It’s likely that the basic 4 P’s of marketing; Product, Price, Place, Promotion will always be relevant, however developments in social media and

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online customer interaction have introduced new considerations to the way that brands and customers interact.

online customer interaction have introduced new considerations to the way that brands and customers interact.

The following two aspects are also important for ongoing branding success; Personalisation (or customisation) – as a loyal and valued customer I want exactly what I like, when I like. Give me the option to get my hands on something unique. For example Amazon’s personal recommendation based on shopping habits was probably one of the first steps towards customer personalisation. Most major sports shoe manufacturers allow web customers to create their own shoes, Perfume Lab develops fragrances based on customers’ preferences, Musicovery plays music based on your moods and iGoogle allows you to customise your homepage.

Participation: I’ve said before that I believe that any modern branding strategy requires a transparent ‘non-clingy’ attitude. Maintain a sense of openness and acknowledge the fact that customers have access to information about your brand, with this in mind involve them in branding decisions – do not underestimate the power of the collective customer, welcome it and handle it as ‘managed disruption.’

welcome it and handle it as ‘managed disruption.’ If we relate the concept of personalisation to

If we relate the concept of personalisation to South Africa one could take the philosophical view that change and growth is only possible through visualisation and belief. Perhaps the personalisation each South African seeks is the right to believe in the South Africa they see in the future – this encourages a sense of belonging and participation. I, for example am positive and confident in Brand South Africa’s ability to bounce back. As a result I look forward and am committed to a brighter, successful future. I acknowledge the factors that have damaged our brand equity but I choose to spend my energy on the brighter future that I want to be part of.

In a more obvious way the principle of participation is evident in relation to brand South Africa now more than ever. Online developments allow everyone to be a publisher and user-generated content is driving and shaping the World Wide Web now more than ever. Social media is driven by a collective intelligence or the ‘wisdom of crowds’. Wikipedia, Facebook and YouTube are a few of the most successful websites; they are driven by the people for the people.

Brand South Africa is currently experiencing a crisis. Customer confidence is at an all time low, investors are pulling out, tourism is suffering, residents are leaving and there’s a pervasive sense of anger and uncertainty. Amid this despair however there is a growing sense of pride, optimism and a determined will to succeed. In particular the current xenophobia crisis has driven the online community to group together in an attempt to restore a sense of normality and dignity. The power of the ‘collective customer’ is evident and their energy is being channelled through specific online vehicles. This basic principle of social media marketing gives people a place to voice their opinions and show their support.

Internet marketing company Quirk created the United for Africa portal that uses Google Earth and Google Maps to monitor the wave of xenophobic violence that has

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swept the country, incidents are reported and mapped in real time on the site, a

swept the country, incidents are reported and mapped in real time on the site, a Facebook page also supports the portal.

In another effort to provide real time information local blog aggregator Afrigator created a South African xenophobia crisis page that aggregates everything that is being said about the crisis in South Africa. Pages are split up into Blog posts, news coverage, podcasts and Videos uploaded to YouTube. These initiatives give South Africans (the customer) a place to share their opinion and collectively exchange ideas and ways of combating the atrocities and negativity that threaten to destroy the future of the South African brand.

What would a typical brand custodian or guardian do in times of trouble? Any successful brand manager believes in their product or service, at times this may be tested but there is a sense of determination and realistic optimism that prevails. When crisis hits, many business and marketing leaders will go back to the basics and construct a plan of action.

Brand South Africa There will always be questions about our brand’s leadership but as loyal ‘customers’ and part ‘custodians’ we have an individual responsibility to commit to the success of brand South Africa.

The primary objective is to rebuild the loss of confidence amongst various stakeholder groups; success here will renew the collective faith and energy to achieve future targets (2010, Gautrain etc.)

Go back to the basics; consider a basic Strengths Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis – If I consider the natural beauty of our country, our collective strength of character, the determination of our people, our history, our brilliant business acumen, our diversity, our wildlife, our talent, our climate vs. the well publicised evils and threats, my grid still looks fairly achievable. In dark times it’s easier to forget the positives and the reasons you choose to ‘support’ a certain brand in the first place.

Harness the collective energy of positive South Africans – use the brand evangelists to speak the message and spread the word. The same principles apply; no one is really convinced or even interested in what the ‘marketing manager’ has to say, they want to hear the brand values and benefits from someone ‘just like me’, the most trusted spokesperson.

Ultimate success for Brand South Africa is possible through the harnessing of collective positive energy… a realistic optimism

Acknowledge that the bad / challenges / weaknesses exist but make a concerted collective effort to fight them. For years the most famous brands have battled against economic, distribution, sales and production factors, in the same way Brand South Africa is facing some severe issues, the difference is that these challenges are fuelled by extreme emotions.

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My belief is that ultimate success for Brand South Africa is possible through the harnessing

My belief is that ultimate success for Brand South Africa is possible through the harnessing of collective positive energy. It’s not a rose-tinted, blinkered approach but

a realistic optimism; acknowledge that negative forces that have destroyed a large percentage of our brand equity but choose to focus on the future and the opportunities that exist.

If you have chosen to reside here then you should act as a responsible customer and

custodian of Brand South Africa, we all have some level of duty or commitment to the brand’s future. Allow me the opportunity to be openly positive and give me a forum in which to do that. It starts on an individual level – share good news stories, choose to interact with positive, optimistic people, fill your head with uplifting information.

Believe in the brand. Perhaps we should take a lesson from the marketing textbooks that document the rebirth of some of the world’s best-known brands. At such an emotionally charged time it may be necessary to introduce a degree of objectivity in order to instil a collective sense of purpose and determination for a more secure, successful future. From a textbook marketing point of view our brand is down but by no means out. Go back to the basics, assess the factors, adjust the strategy and pick the right vehicles to spread and celebrate the successes.

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9. Making the most of SA’s creative talents and abilities By Eve Dmochowska The greatest

9. Making the most of SA’s creative talents and abilities

By Eve Dmochowska

The greatest resource possessed by a nation is the imagination of its people

It is no secret that South Africa has high levels of unemployment, severe poverty and lack of adequate education. These shortcomings are even more evident in our rural areas. And yet, and maybe because of the extra burden of hardships that those who live outside our main hubs have to bear, they have proven themselves to be incredibly creative, passionate and dedicated to their self-honed craft.

passionate and dedicated to their self-honed craft. But that, unfortunately, is where their skills end. To

But that, unfortunately, is where their skills end. To be able to market themselves as a destination, or to sell their goods through retailers on the domestic or international market would take resources to which most rural crafters just do not have access. Their unfamiliarity with the business environment, and limited ability to communicate professionally with distant target markets hampers their chance of maintaining a decent living from the proceeds of their work.

That is unfortunate. Craft has low entry requirements in terms of capital and skill, since it draws on the cultural heritage of the people. Most crafters are women. Craft is the only feasible option to introduce themselves to the economy. They support large families, both immediate and distant. They are good, sometimes even brilliant, at what they create with their hands and the raw materials at their disposals. Their goods would have place of pride in the homes of the relatively wealthy foreigners who are so into the “green sustainability” trend that has taken the world by storm. The crafters, with their skill, are fully equipped to provide the first part of the “produce - sell - sustain” equation.

Now we have to figure out how to do the rest.

Luckily, we do not have to start from scratch. There are strong initiatives that aim to bridge the gap. There are government sponsored programs that introduce business training, and help market the crafters to tourists. There are organizations set up by individuals who run non profit projects to uplift the disadvantaged. And markets are springing up in urban hubs that sell the wares to both South Africans and the tourists who visit our country.

Monkeybiz Bead Project is a case in point. It sells R5 million worth of beaded crafts to the international market each year. Founded as a non-profit in 2000, the initiative now allows 450 crafters to sustain themselves and their family, doing what they do best. The reason it works is because it had a great start from the three founders who identified a collective talent in a community, and matched it to a demand in the overseas market. Now, each crafter is essentially self employed: she makes beaded crafts that are unique, and sells them to the non-profit. The goods are then distributed internationally through a well honed network, and the profits are driven back to the community, which is affected by HIV.

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On my bookshelf I have a gem of a book, Due-South which is an Eskom

On my bookshelf I have a gem of a book, Due-South which is an Eskom sponsored “Travel Guide to South African Craft Sites”. Throughout its 400-odd beautifully laid out pages, it introduces the reader to the direct sources of the most creative, original and simply beautiful craft work the country has to offer. Designed as a travel guide, the book encourages both tourists and locals to get into their car and explore the country, and support the talent.

Here are some typical quotes from the book:

Hlamarisa Bvuma Beads: Hlamarisa is a renowned Tsonga beader and together with her four grandchildren she works to revive the style and technique used by traditional Tsonga beaders.

Emma Gule at Rheola’s Country Collection: Emma is a multi-talented, self- taught beader who produces beautiful items from beads and copper wire. She uses her skills in design and colour to create attractive crocheted jewellery, accessories, Christmas decorations and bags.

So we are not ignorant to the need of helping our local crafters. But, of course, we can do more. For starters, we can work on the perception of what “African Craft” really is. It is not limited, as some might think, the displays of wooden masks and beaded doilies as exhibited in front of the Zoo. To draw attention to the fact that the products produced in South Africa are far more diverse than that, it has been suggested that they be sorted into five categories: home ware and décor; garden and outdoor; jewellery and fashion accessories; craft and folk art (usually culturally specific) and souvenirs. Suddenly, the marketing scope seems filled with many more possibilities.

marketing scope seems filled with many more possibilities. In 2001, government introduced the idea of setting

In 2001, government introduced the idea of setting up a “Craft Trading House” that would provide a one stop opportunity for buyers to view the South African craft products, and to manage the ordering and finance aspects of the trade. Although this has not yet been established, in principle it sounds like an ideal opportunity to bridge the gap between the products and the markets.

My money, however, is on the entrepreneurial spirit of those who can act as middle men between the crafters and the markets. Nothing, it seems, is a bigger motivator than money, and I am hoping that individuals who have the right connections, good business ethics and business acumen, will be able to utilize them for the benefit of all. The biggest obstacle, after all, is that most goods that are produced in rural areas will never receive the worthy audience that they deserve. Anyone who can bridge that gap manually can be forgiven for taking a profit out of the process. Altruism is great, but we need to pump exposure, even if for a price.

And the potential is great. Africa, as a continent, exports only 0.4% of the world’s $424.4 billion creative products! (According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), 2005). And we probably have the richest collective skill level and cultural heritage to drive the exports. As the director of Inter-

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region Economic Network, James Shikwati said: “The creative economy can serve as the most strategic

region Economic Network, James Shikwati said: “The creative economy can serve as the most strategic launching pad of competitiveness because culture is unique with a given people”.

I have, I must admit, a somewhat biased opinion on the matter. Although my day is spent bridging the gap between the offline and online world for corporates and start ups, my family, starting with my father as a founder, has owned an art focused business for over 25 years. It is therefore a natural progression for me to try and bridge the offline and online world in the craft / art market too. After all, there are plenty of potential customers who might never visit our country, but who would love to own a bit of

African culture and heritage. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if there could be an e-commerce enabled website that offered the small crafter, living in the middle of a remote farm, the opportunity to sell her goods to

people with whom she could never otherwise interact? There isn’t one yet, but I’m working on it ;-)

The biggest obstacle, after all, is that most goods that are produced in rural areas will never receive the worthy audience that they deserve

We might not have the solutions to all the challenges faced by the craft industry in South Africa, but we should know this: It is worth our while to give it our full support, not only because it adds economic growth, creates an uplifted and cohesive community and is a natural stepping stone to further skill acquisition, but because it represents and preserves our country’s rich cultural heritage.

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10. Innovate for a better South Africa By Duncan Drennan So what is our reality?

10. Innovate for a better South Africa

By Duncan Drennan

So what is our reality?

South Africa has an unemployment rate of about 23%, a skills shortage crisis, rising inflation, rising interest rates, a large current account deficit and an uncertain political environment – amongst a number of other things.

All of this points towards a great need, and with great need, comes a great

crisis

opportunity. Wherever there is need, there is opportunity.

just

not the one you are thinking about. The great crisis we have is a crisis of

In this midst of this great opportunity the challenge that we face is finding people who are ready to create solutions. We must find and create people who are willing to innovate each day.

We are all innovators and have the ability to contribute to the creation of a better country. Unfortunately we tend to associate "innovation" with technological improvements, while it should really apply to every task that we do. Innovation needs to become a concept which permeates how we do business, and how we go about our jobs each day.

The other problem is that we tend to think of innovation as large leaps forward. Personally I prefer the Japanese concept of Kaizen, which means continuous change for

the better (Mind of the Innovator is worth a read). So when I use the word innovate, I mean keep changing things for the better.

What is your reality?

On its own, technical advances will only change South Africa a small amount. We need innovation to happen on all fronts – legal, government, business – but most importantly we need it to happen at a people level. We need to find ways to keep changing ourselves for the better, and with that the rest will come easily.

So how do we as businesses and individuals work towards a better South Africa?

1. People matter Our country, and our businesses run on people. The more we place value on each individual, the more value we build for ourselves. It is time to stop thinking about "human resources" and start thinking about people. People matter, and what they care about matters too. We are connected to the people around us. Acting in the interest of those around us serves not only to build a better country, but also to nurture and secure our own future.

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2. Engage in the discussion We all need to engage in the discussion that is

2. Engage in the discussion

We all need to engage in the discussion that is going on around us and try to contribute positively to it. Talking builds community and that forms the foundation for a better country. It helps us find out what matters to other people, and how we can help.

I have been fortunate enough to be a part of an amazing online business community, The Forum SA, which has brought various business owners and managers together to engage with each other. Together we help each other with the daily challenges of running a business. It also provides a platform for us to work together as a group to improve conditions for small business owners in South Africa. Together we create a better country.

The more we take part, the more we grow. Maybe it is time to grow together.

3. Be remarkable: make and do things that matter

Jim Collin's wrote, "Good is the enemy of great." Or in Seth Godin's words, be remarkable.

As a whole we have given up our greatness. We have lost our sense of greatness to crime, dirty politicians and corrupt businessmen. Yet as a country we are filled with greatness, even if we are not always able to recognise it.

What and how we do things changes our view of both ourselves and the people around us. Do your actions reflect who you want to become? Do they reflect the country you want to live in? Do they build your (our) greatness, or break it down?

in? Do they build your (our) greatness, or break it down? What comes out of us,

What comes out of us, both in actions and words, reflects not only who we are, but who we are becoming. What steps did you take on the road to greatness today? We need to walk that path – one step at a time.

4. Do more with less

Right now we can all feel the pressures of inflation. There are two basic ways to combat inflation – consume less, or produce more. If we can do both at the same time it is a double win. Innovation can help us to both increase productivity as well as decrease costs.

As much as technological innovation can help, finding new ways to equip people with skills and increase their productivity can help even more. As we educate people through schools, universities and on–site training we grow our ability to deliver. As we produce and deliver more we push down inflation. Each of us has the responsibility to help develop another person. Remember, people matter.

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In summary, we must innovate how we think of people, the things we say, what

In summary, we must innovate how we think of people, the things we say, what we do, and how we think.

The thought that I would like to leave you with is a question that I have been asking myself quite a bit lately – what is your reality? Think about that for a second before answering. We get bombarded from all directions (media, government, business) by someone else's reality (or one they want us to believe). Too much of that starts to change the way we see our reality.

much of that starts to change the way we see our reality. 10. Innovate for a

10. Innovate for a better South Africa

So, when we strip it all away, when we really look at the exact details of your life, it may be that things are a lot better than we have been led to believe. Spend some time thinking about it.

What is your reality? How can you keep changing it for the better?

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11. The role of the younger generation in SA, and what we need to do

11. The role of the younger generation in SA, and what we need to do to support them

By Saul Kropman

We definitely didn’t create apartheid and we certainly didn’t contribute to ending it, but the reality is that we are the ones feeling the weight of it the most. We feel the burdens of the past coupled with the difficulties of the present. Affirmative Action, Crime and a sagging economy leave us in a struggle for the finite resources our country can provide. The youth have inherited a South Africa filled with a rich and disturbing history. What we have before us is a country at a crossroads yet we find ourselves acting in apathy.

The youth of South Africa, much like the youth around the world, are disillusioned. The levels of apathy, lack of ambition, and just plain indifference seem incredibly endemic. When asked who their heroes are, the youth of today will mention the name of a pop star rather than those who have legitimately earned respect.

While the “adults” in our country deal with the legacy of the past and try to shape the future, the youth suffer while we wait for the imposed direction. Education seems

to be a laughable concept - everyone wants to be

educated but no one wants to work for it. The flagging matric pass rate is all one needs to realise this fact.

In my mind a major problem is the lack of interest from

these so-called adults. There is no one to mentor the youth or provide direction. The adults in the media are all charlatans promoting misconduct and corruption. Ultimately when you’re shown that perverse behaviour is

not only acceptable, but will be condoned in the highest court in our country, then how should an impressionable mind be expected to react?

then how should an impressionable mind be expected to react? When your politicians, community leaders and

When your politicians, community leaders and teachers do not have the interest to push you towards excellence, apathy and mediocrity are rife. While the leaders of today attempt to create a better tomorrow, they need to realise that the youth of

today is the better tomorrow. The only way to shape the future is to mould the youth

of today into self-sustaining adults who can and will carry the country forward.

While our government and potential incumbents might need a few lessons in common sense, those past their prime cannot solve the issue and a solution needs

to be found. The point, however of this commentary is to posit some solutions to a

far-reaching problem and to do this we need to look further afield.

A massive amount of our yearly budget is pumped into education but unemployment

remains at deplorable levels. In my mind what needs to change is that we must stop giving our youth a meal to survive but rather give them a fishing rod and instructions on how to create their own meal. This will provide them with a longer-term solution rather than a short-term approach to silence an unhappy mass.

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The question is: if we are aiming at teaching our youth skills - then what,

The question is: if we are aiming at teaching our youth skills - then what, and how do we teach them? The solution to the issue of self-sufficiency is to for the youth of our country to create their own employment and in turn employment for many others.

It is important to note that not everyone is likely to become the next Bill Gates but if one person starts a business and can employ just one person then there are already two less people looking for work and two more people positively contributing to our economy.

This future unfortunately cannot be created as easily as willing it onto a page. The problem with being self-sufficient is that one needs access to finance and mentorship to help steer the business owner in the right direction. In our wonderful world of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives need to move away from providing the proverbial fish and towards teaching them to provide for themselves. Micro financing systems have been incredibly successful in other developing nations, most worse-off than South Africa. It’s one thing to give the youth money to create their own wealth but without the knowledge they will squander that money in moments.

We live in a country where concepts such as Affirmative Action and quotas are a part of our corporate landscape and something companies are incredibly proud of, but this is certainly not helping the youth. Ultimately these concepts make those affected either

disillusioned by their lack of job prospects, or feeling like tokens in a company. Every company should be mandated to have a mentorship division, helping in the daily running of youth business and providing advice. Excellent leaders and managers are not born with these abilities and need to be moulded into the powerhouses they could potentially become.

As South Africans it is our duty to band together and support the future

If the Investec’s, Mvelaphanda’s and BHP Billiton’s of our country could create this support structure, then the youth of our country could in turn support not only themselves but also those to come.

As South Africans it is our duty to band together and support the future, as only we can promote a change in attitudes. South Africa has always relied on its natural resources to compete on a global scale but these will inevitably dry up. Unless we give intellectual capital the respect it deserves, we are simply relying on the dying embers of the resources we once commanded. Only when this occurs will we have the place in the future we all desire and deserve.

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12. Connecting South Africa – communities that transcend technology By Andy Hadfield “A person with

12. Connecting South Africa – communities that transcend technology

By Andy Hadfield

“A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self- assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.” - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Ubuntu. A word that describes not only one of South Africa’s greatest technology gifts to the world, but also the sense and spirit which binds every African at their core. Add crime, xenophobia, tough economical conditions and a cultural mishmash second to none – it still won’t cover our underlying sense of community. Our connection to each other born of a journey through hard times, and a light at the end of the tunnel.

We feel it in the good times, the sports victories and the political successes. We feel it in the bad times, the political differences and the growing pains of an immature democracy. It is inextricably present in everything we do.

Connecting people is not just a link in SQL And thus, it falls upon our generation, the passionately digital, to take up the mantle and further the cause of ubuntu. In our online playgrounds and our real life concrete and tar worlds. Connecting our community in more ways than a friendly poke from afar ever could.

Who are we (these online patriots that have been tasked with carrying the word at the speed of pings and packets)? As the digitally privileged few, we exist in a different world – and must be careful to acknowledge it as such. It is a world where truth blurs with opinion, and information moves at the speed of light. It is a world where the world is listening. While seemingly disconnected from the rest of South Africa – there are lessons that can be learnt from both sides of this equation. Look deeper, and you’ll find that community transcends technology – yet co-exists perfectly.

community transcends technology – yet co-exists perfectly. The connected community that is South Africa Every

The connected community that is South Africa Every community has a few prerequisites: people, a sense of purpose and a sense of ownership. Put those three ingredients together, and technology or no technology – you have the means to join people and achieve great things.

The first world tends to make the mistake these days of thinking true communities must have an online or high-tech component in order to be successful. Instant Messaging. Video conferencing. Data aggregation. Email campaigns. MySpace.

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Activist groups. Charities. Politicians. It’s a CNN view of the world that isn’t always applicable

Activist groups. Charities. Politicians. It’s a CNN view of the world that isn’t always applicable in Africa.

Community is so much more than that. It’s a tribute to our innovate or die spirit that we’ve managed to use community models to achieve what we have. With or without high-tech.

Our connection to each other born of a journey through hard times, and a light at the end of the tunnel

Go see the effects of community in South Africa’s anti-retroviral programme - micro segments of health workers and rural populations banding together for a greater cause. Measured centrally, implemented locally. In this community, technology is a prayer and a warm hug. A needle. A test. A life-saving drug.

Shining lights in Short Message Services Walk further along the population road, stop, and take a look at the remarkable effect SMS is having on this nation. Did you know South Africa is not only a global player in the mobile space, but a global leader? We are inventing technologies that are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on a cellphone, and have a mobile telecommunications penetration second to none in the developing world. Every household in this country, from tin shacks to leafy mansions have access to a cellphone. Every household in this country has access to SMS – and uses it.

In the United States. SMS never took off. They missed it. Instant messaging and direct dialing were just cheaper. But look at the things we have managed to achieve with such a simple, wide-reaching technology. Twitter, take a back seat - we’ve had the 143 character model for years.

Primedia’s CrimeLine is a good example. Managed and promoted by 702 Radio and Highveld Stereo 94.7FM up in Johannesburg – it is a province wide network of crime tip-offs by SMS. Anonymous and cheap – it has led to the arrests of thousands of criminals.

CrimeLine is the TwitterStream the South African Police Force subscribes to. A flow of information that lifts itself above the lunch-meat, status update nonsense that

pollutes Twitter – and deals directly with one society member’s care for another. This

is

a virtual community in itself. A community that is now connected to its future, feels

a

sense of ownership about its own safety – and is now able to do something about

it.

Connecting a developing world to an always-on world… Now, if such success are possible using the simplest of technologies. Imagine what is possible if WE turn our minds towards spreading the ideal of “community South Africa”. While online technology might not reach every corner of the country – it does have a unique advantage. It’s fast, global – and everyone’s listening.

In fact, if nothing else prickles at the emotional receptors in your patriotic heart, embrace the speed and power of our medium. As bloggers, or even just as part of

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the web readership, we sit on a platform that can tell stories at the speed

the web readership, we sit on a platform that can tell stories at the speed of light – reaching more people, more frequently. Sites like SA Rocks and SA Good News lead the charge.

This is our task. We have the power to tell the good stories. And we have the obligation to SHOUT OUT when something’s going wrong. Citizen journalism, the right of every man and woman with a pen, paper or internet connection to comment

and publish their thoughts and their whims is a powerful ideal. While some might say

it runs the danger of creating too much opinion and lowering the quality of information – there is another way to look at it.

It’s creates a massive information community. A connected group that rates, reviews and shares their content. A community with the power to talk, to shout from the plastic casings of every server in the world. To tell a story of a South Africa that’s growing up. A South Africa that believes connecting with each other, across language, racial and political borders is the only way to grow.

A South Africa that can.

“A traveller through a country would stop at a village and he didn't have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu but it will have various aspects. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not address themselves. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you be able to improve?” - Nelson Mandela

12. Connection South Africa – communities that transcend technology

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13. The role of collaboration in South Africa’s growth - We are African By Mandy

13. The role of collaboration in South Africa’s growth - We are African

By Mandy De Waal

in South Africa’s growth - We are African By Mandy De Waal We are African “It

We are African

“It often takes a major shock to force a society to confront challenges it has been either denying or underestimating. South Africans have been living in a false paradise that has ignored the realities of our interconnected and interdependent world. Our nascent democracy has often operated as if the migration of goods and services, ideas and people does not matter to us. Our apartheid isolation has made us insular. This crisis forces us to rise to our challenges and seize the opportunities of being part of a rapidly globalising world.” - Dr Mamphela Ramphele.

As South Africa reeled from the xenophobic violence that has rocked our country, one of the founders of the Black Consciousness Movement, mother to Steve Biko’s two children, first woman Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town and one of four Managing Directors of The World Bank made an impassioned plea.

Dr Mamphela Ramphele reminded us that we are Africans, and as Africans need to remember where we have come from, who we are, and how our future is intimately connected to all who share this continent with us. That realizing we are a collective, a continent, that we are African is vital to our common destiny.

This is a thought echoed by another great African, Professor Es’kia Mphahlele who said in 1985: “No Afrikan in their right mind can afford the luxury of prophesying doom for any segment of their society.”

of prophesying doom for any segment of their society.” Although the notion of an African Renaissance

Although the notion of an African Renaissance is something largely attributed to Thabo Mbeki, the concept was already mooted at the turn of the century, and described by ANC founder Pixley ka Izaka Seme when he spoke at Columbia

University in the city of New York, in 1906. He said: “The brighter day is rising upon

Africa

African people

manifest, crystallizing itself into one common controlling idea

Africa means that a new and unique civilization is soon to be added to the world." At the time these words were spoken Africa still had to walk a treacherous path through the slavery of colonialism, wars of liberation, and the curse of poverty.

Yes

the regeneration of Africa belongs to this new and powerful period. The

possess

a common fundamental sentiment which is everywhere

The regeneration of

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A pivotal time for Africa came in 1999 when African Heads of State and Government

A pivotal time for Africa came in 1999 when African Heads of State and Government transformed The Organisation of African Unity into the African Union at a time when Africa was being increasingly marginalized from a globalizing world. The African Union unites the continent with a vision of an Africa that is prosperous, peaceful, driven by its own citizen and is an integrated and dynamic force in the global arena.

Only as Africans can we collaborate, and grow ourselves by growing our continent

As a country that is safeguarded by a constitution that is one of the most progressive in the world, that has a robust multi-party political system, a strong economy, that has 47-million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages and

beliefs, we have so much to offer our continent and the rest of the world. But we can only participate in Africa if we are able to think and act as Africans.

As South Africans, whether we be business people, leaders, politicians, workers, philosophers, teachers, students, we cannot think of ourselves as isolated or apart from Africa. We desperately need to shake off old alienating attitudes and see ourselves as part of the whole. Connected to the main.

Our real success as a nation will be metered by our ability to transform the insular, alienating and apartheid-inspired thinking that sets us apart from everyone else who inhabits this continent. Progress will only happen when we understand that we are a part of, and responsible to, the world’s second biggest and most populous continent.

the world’s second biggest and most populous continent. That we are as African as the mighty

That we are as African as the mighty Zambezi, or as the lion’s roar across the plains of Kenya. As the gaze of the Great Sphinx at Giza, the city bustle of Abuja, the fragrance of a roasted Tanzanian coffee bean, the sound of Shangaan being spoken, the songs of Youssou N'Dour, the beauty of Rikki Wemega-Kwawu, the bravery of Herman Toivo ja Toivo, the murder of Ken Saro Wiwa, and the earliest evidence of homo sapiens found in Ethiopia.

Only as Africans can we collaborate, and grow ourselves by growing our continent.

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Credits

Credits Introduction Author: Darren Gorton Blog: http://outthink.co.za Twitter: http://twitter.com/darrengorton

Introduction Author: Darren Gorton Blog: http://outthink.co.za Twitter: http://twitter.com/darrengorton Original post: http://outthink.co.za/index.php/2008/06/sa-blook-introduction/ Chapter 1 Author: Siyabonga Nhlumayo Blog: http://dtaila.wordpress.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/Siya_Nhlumayo Original post: http://dtaila.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/sa-blook-chapter-1-the- new-south-africa-is-it-real/ Chapter 2 Authors: Hilton Tarrant and Geoff Candy Blog: http://www.tycoon.co.za [since discontinued] Twitter: http://twitter.com/hiltontarrant and http://twitter.com/geoffcandy Original post *: http://outthink.co.za/index.php/2008/06/sa-blook-chapter-2-is- sa-rich-or-poor/ Chapter 3 Author: Grant Brewer Blog: http://grantbrewer.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/grantbrewer Original post: http://grantbrewer.com/blog/article/a-global-perspective/ Chapter 4 Author: Nicholas Haralambous Blog: http://sarocks.co.za Twitter: http://twitter.com/nicharry Original post: http://sarocks.co.za/2008/06/02/sa-blook-chapter-4-the- importance-of-each-individuals-contribution-collectively/ Chapter 5 Author: Paul Jacobson Blog: http://pauljacobson.org Twitter: http://twitter.com/pauljacobson Original post: http://pauljacobson.org/2008/06/02/chapter-5-sa-inc-and-the- business-of-doing-business-in-sa/ Chapter 6 Author: Kerry-Anne Gilowey Blog: http://kerry-anne.co.za Twitter: http://twitter.com/kerry_anne Original post: http://kerry-anne.co.za/2008/06/02/sa-blook-chapter-6-the- beauty-and-grandeur-that-surrounds-us/

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Chapter 7 Author: Justin Hartman Blog: http://justinhartman.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/justinhartman Original

Chapter 7 Author: Justin Hartman Blog: http://justinhartman.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/justinhartman Original post: http://justinhartman.com/2008/06/02/sa-blook-chapter-7-the- importance-of-technology-in-sas-global-emergence/ Chapter 8 Author: Melissa Attree Blog: http://melissaattree.wordpress.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/melattree Original post: http://melissaattree.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/sa-blook-

chapter-8-building-brand-south-africa/

Chapter 9 Author: Eve Dmochowska Blog: http://ofrelevance.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/eved Original post: http://ofrelevance.com/2008/06/02/sa-blook-chapter-9-making- the-most-of-sas-creative-talent-and-abilities/ Chapter 10 Author: Duncan Drennan Blog: http://blog.engineersimplicity.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/duncandrennan Original post: http://blog.engineersimplicity.com/2008/06/innovate-for-better- south-africa-sa.html Chapter 11 Author: Saul Kropman Blog: http://saulk.co.za Twitter: http://twitter.com/saulkza Original post: http://saulk.co.za/2008/06/02/sa-blook-chapter-11-the-role-of- the-younger-generation-in-sa-and-what-we-need-to-do-to-support-them/ Chapter 12 Author: Andy Hadfield Blog: http://www.andyhadfield.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/followandyh Original post: http://www.andyhadfield.com/2008/06/sa-blook-chapter-12- connecting-south.html Chapter 13 Author: Mandy De Waal Blog: http://mdw.typepad.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/mandyldewaal Original post: http://mdw.typepad.com/mdw/2008/06/sa-blook-chapte.html

* Republished as the original website, www.tycoon.co.za, no longer operates.

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Photo credits

Photo credits Introduction – “Rich Man, Poor Man” by kcnickerson, via flickr Ch 1 – “Taking

Introduction – “Rich Man, Poor Man” by kcnickerson, via flickr Ch 1 – “Taking a walk on the other side” by deshanta, via flickr Ch 2 – “Honest value never fails” by sloth2048, via flickr Ch 3 – “me and madiba” by babileta, via flickr Ch 3 – “apartheid museum” by killthebird, via flickr Ch 4 – “Colour” by coda, via flickr Ch 5 – “Private Property” by FredoAlvarez, via flickr Ch 5 – Creative commons logo Ch 6 – All images from www.capetowndailyphoto.com Ch 7 – “Entering Hyperspace” by Éole, via flickr Ch 8 – “Rainbow Nation” by WireLizard, via flickr Ch 9 – “African crafts for you” by Uncleweed, via flickr Ch 9 – “Princess of South Africa” by Sagespot, via flickr Ch 10 – “Siemens Innovation Connection” by Liqueur Felix, via flickr Ch 10 – “Reflecting on architecture” by macropoulos, via flickr Ch 11 – “South African School Children” by sideshow_nyc, via flickr Ch 12 – “The worlds network” by saschaaa, via flickr

Children” by sideshow_nyc, via flickr Ch 12 – “The worlds network” by saschaaa, via flickr 50

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