CAPE TOWN - Ask yourself before you continue reading the “fearless editor’s weekly comment” (members of my team calls me so): Do you believe that South Africa can work? No ifs, no buts.
As an ultimate positive economist, journalist and executive editor of Business Report, I do strive towards changing the pessimistic narrative in our country. “The media plays a critical role in creating a pessimistic environment in South Africa,” said two high profile, well dressed and charming gentlemen to me and my team last Friday at a strategic engagement between the government, business and the media.
Business Report invited Alan Winde, Minister of Agriculture, Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape, Atose Aguele, chief executive of Avedia Energy and Pieter Coetzee, chief executive of Sunrise Energy, to a strategic discussion about job creation in the energy sector. Coetzee declined, Winde and Aguele attended. Winde is an optimist, he and his fellow compatriots will launch an initiative in the next few weeks that supports my statement.
So is Aguele, a foreign investor and successful business leader that invested his own money in Africa and South Africa, creating jobs in the rural areas of Saldanha and Atlantis for the previously dis-advantaged.
Frans Rautenbach’s book, South Africa can work, is an eye opener. “What if I had been wrong all along? What if I had completely missed the boat, and a whole world of policy change was passing me by like a ship in the night, the world inhabited by young people like my children?" The media remains powerful.
Fact is that the “media” is much more than newspaper headlines. Every tweet and Facebook post creates a new narrative. Sadly, still based on the intent of the written words of news carriers.
I often ask my team to focus on the message us, as BR, signal to our readers, in print and online. Business Report investigates, reports, analyses, features, creates and implements various platforms for our readers and stakeholders to engage.
Is the media to be blamed for reporting on pessimism? Yes. Why publish crime and rape on page one? Should we not publish the young entrepreneur in Khayelitsha?
Winde can’t stop talking about, or the story of Lydia Zingoli’s chocolate factory, and Bulelwa Basse, the poet, capturing the essence of poverty in a poem, or the story of a humble doctor that invested his energy and money buying the news carrier I currently work for?
It is time to unite.
Winde, Aguele, Dr Christo Wiese, Dr Iqbal Survé and many other captains of industry patriotically often state their intent: South Africa can work. Are you a couch potato, or are you the new South African activist?
Adri Senekal de wet is the Executive Editor at Independent Media Business Report.
- BUSINESS REPORT