How many times do you really worry about something without any tangible results or constructive outcomes?
Do you believe in miracles? In these days, when our country is bombarded with cyclones of negative news and a collapse in infrastructure and services, there is still a ray of hope wheeling under the cloud of pessimism.
You experience a glimpse of this when, for example, you get a flat tyre at the most inconvenient time and at the most inconvenient place thinkable. I drove to Oudtshoorn on Friday afternoon, to the wedding of a South African business colleague marrying a Russian bride, after an expansion of South African IT expertise into the Russian market 10 years ago.
The festive mood in the car was abruptly distorted by a big bang - and a quick halt. A run-flat tyre was badly damaged and barely drivable. Wondering what to do, driving carefully towards our destination more than 100km away, on the horizon of the dark, miraculously this sign appeared: Hi-Q Countrywide: 2.4km 24 hours.
Wilfred Bosman, an expert in his field, drove from Stilbaai to Riversdale to open his shop long after hours on a Friday night, making a plan fitting an oversized tyre to the car until we could get to the right stock the following day.
It is in situations like these that we realise that a country's economy rests on vested skills and trades executed by the right attitude. President Nelson Mandela always reminded us of the importance of working together to build a rainbow nation. He would have been proud of Wilfred, a coloured business manager, who came to the rescue of a white woman, not knowing her title and that his kind actions and commitment to service delivery would feature in a national business newspaper a few days later.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and the delegation accompanying him in Davos, consisting of top business and political leaders, promised elite delegates a renewed South Africa; a South Africa open for business; a South Africa that will deliver basic services for those aiming to invest their billions in our country.
Business Report hosted its first Raging Bull Investment Summit last week. Paul Mashatile was invited as guest speaker. He arrived on time, while most delegates were “caught in traffic”. “They should be leaving their homes earlier; they know the traffic,” he said, and we kicked off only a few minutes late, honouring Mashatile’s busy schedule.
How often do we only recognise just the glamour events such as the allocated awards at Raging Bull, which would not have been possible if it were not built upon sound business and economic execution at a grassroots level? This is where basic skills with the right attitude are executed to drive the elemental gears of the bigger economic machine towards growth and job creation.
In a similar way that I witnessed economic investment encouragement from the top levels of the South African delegation in Davos, I experienced the past week the execution of basic and much-needed service delivery at grassroots level when Wilfred did his job as advertised, Mashatile arrived on time, managers of people’s pensions were honoured, and my South African friend married his Russian beauty 10 years after the company he worked for opened an IT business in Europe.
It's time to renew our vows. Let’s marry a positive attitude with a commitment to service delivery, on all levels. We can attract billions and create jobs only if we adhere to the fundamentals. “It is time to go back to the basics, comrade,” Mashatile told me last week. I agree. Let’s start with ourselves, and mirror what we wish to see.
- BUSINESS REPORT