What we need from SA’s rich right now are rand gestures

Business

What we need from SA’s rich right now are rand gestures

It has happened before in SA, and it is working for other countries battling the Covid-19 outbreak

Mills Soko and Mzukisi Qobo

Moments of crisis can provide an opportunity for public-spirited business leaders – corporate statesmen and women – to work with governments in navigating storms and finding solutions to complex social and economic challenges. They are driven by enlightened self-interest, and often go against the grain of a business status quo that is fixated on the bottom line.

SA yearns for a breed of corporate statespeople who not only believe business leaders ought to play an active role in shaping major issues facing their nation but who also conceive the destinies of business and government as inextricably intertwined. That type of leader is rare in SA today.

In the past, SA had corporate statespeople who sought to grapple with the challenges facing their generation. One such leader was Anton Rupert. In his memoirs, Priorities for Co-existence, Rupert observed that SA’s future would be “determined by the quality of the people the country produces and the manner in which they are going to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances – people of quality who do more than is expected of them, who give more than they receive, who are prepared to create more than they demand”...

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