Cape Town - Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan became the first South African to ever receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Reading’s Henley Business School on Thursday.
Capped by the school’s international dean Professor John Board, Gordhan was described by Jon Foster-Pedley, the dean of Henley Business School Africa, as an inspiration to millions of South Africans and an inspiration both for good corporate citizenship and active citizenship.
Reading the citation, he praised Gordhan not just for his courage and principle, but for signalling the link between corporate collusion and corruption, which in turn laid the foundations for state capture.
Gordhan enjoined the 180 MBA graduates at Kyalami’s Theatre on the Track to go back to their businesses and fight against corruption and collusion in all its forms.
“Your job as the new graduates and hopefully with the new foundation of ethics we require in business, will be change all of this in the public and private sector so that they both serve the South African public.”
South Africa should be a country where all would become more wealthy and able to send their children to universities to develop the skills that would allow them to forge their own careers.
“And that’s the difference,” he said “between the many who are screaming at the moment and trying to fight back against those who want to end state capture and those who want to make the state better and build better institutions.
“The difference is this small crowd who is making a lot of noise at the moment all they want to do is continue the processes of extracting from the state and not end up in orange uniforms. There are many who are in government and in the public sector and millions in this country who want this country to work and provide a future for this generation and the generations to come.”
* Ritchie is a media consultant. He is a former journalist and newspaper editor.