By Feroza Petersen
Together with his co-host, Ms Kajál (@Kajjjiiii), they delved into a dialogue with Survé, a renowned South African business leader, founder of the Sekunjalo Group, and chairman of Independent Media.
Tshweu and his co-host opened the conversation with a focus on the concept of freedom, with Kajál asking Survé what his definition of “Freedom” was. Survé conveyed that freedom embodied the promise of hope, justice and equality.
His words underscored that freedom extended far beyond the mere right to cast a vote – it encompasses the liberty to shape one’s narrative, defines one’s identity, and aspires to a life free from the constraints of societal challenges.
On reflecting on the evolution of the concept of freedom, Survé highlighted the transition from the apartheid-era struggles, which were predominantly black-and-white issues, to today’s multifaceted challenges.
He emphasised that the fight for freedom was no longer confined to racial lines but is a complex interplay of forces, both propelling and hindering progress. In this evolving landscape, technology and media narratives play pivotal roles, further complicating the struggle for freedom.
Survé acknowledged the arduous path faced by those who challenged the status quo. He revealed that despite the temptations to conform, his unwavering commitment to transformation and empowerment endured, not only for his organisation but for all South Africans.
This dedication emanates from a profound sense of responsibility to his family, employees, their dependents, and the imperative of a transformed legacy.
Shifting the conversation to the economic realm, Survé underscored the imperative of economic transformation in South Africa. He stressed the urgency of inclusive economic participation, pointing out that nearly three decades into democracy, the majority of South Africans still remained excluded from the economic mainstream.
Survé contended that true transformation should benefit all citizens, regardless of race, bridging the chasm between the affluent and the impoverished.
Survé illuminated the critical role media and capital played in shaping public narratives and influencing political outcomes. He drew attention to the concentration of media ownership and its profound impact on the national discourse, urging South Africans not to be beguiled by deceptive narratives but to actively seek diverse perspectives.
Tshweu then posed the question: “Are our courts captured, Doctor?” Expressing faith in the judiciary, Survé implored judges to uphold the rule of law without prejudice.
He acknowledged the influence of prevailing narratives on judges and underscored the vital role of the judiciary in safeguarding South Africa’s democracy.
One listener offered unwavering support and gratitude, emphasising that Survé’s fight transcended personal interests and was crucial for future generations. She commended his pivotal role in a strategically vital industry and decried attempts to stifle alternative voices.
Survé’s response reflected humility and shared experiences, highlighting the challenges faced by his family (especially his 83-year-old mother), friends, and associates, as they confronted systemic pressures from the banking sector.
In response to another listener’s inquiry about supporting media studies, Survé affirmed his commitment to media education and training.
He detailed Independent Media’s internship programme, which has empowered 60 young individuals, and mentioned that substantial funding for campaigns such as “Racism Stops with Me” and “Violence Against Women”, along with numerous philanthropic efforts, amounted to tens of millions of rands.
Survé acknowledged the need for expanding the training of young journalists to drive positive change and highlighted his family’s dedication to funding critical causes such as anti-trafficking programmes and educational scholarships.
On the topic of BRICS, Survé celebrated the collective strength of the people and underscored the importance of unity. He shared insights from his pivotal role in the BRICS summit, highlighting the term “comrade” as a symbol of shared goals and unity among nations.
Survé discussed the BRICS bank and the potential it held for Africa, urging the government to prioritise BRICS for the country’s benefit. He emphasised that BRICS presented an extraordinary opportunity and called for proactive engagement with the alliance to bring tangible benefits to South Africa and Africa.
To summarise and conclude, Survé shared insightful perspectives that profoundly resonate with South Africa’s enduring struggle for freedom, economic empowerment, and transformation.
“His words serve as both a guiding light and a rallying cry for a nation determined to overcome its challenges and create a more equitable society,” Tshweu said.