From the editor

Finweek English Edition - - CONTENTS - JANA MARAIS

over the week­end, I drove through Marikana, where I spent quite a bit of time be­tween 2012 and 2014. All week, I’ve been strug­gling to shake that feel­ing of ut­ter de­spair I al­ways leave the North West’s plat­inum fields with – so much nat­u­ral wealth squan­dered; so lit­tle vis­i­ble change since that fate­ful Au­gust day in 2012. Add to that the drought, the tank­ing rand, the wa­ter short­ages, the steel in­dus­try un­der siege, Zuma’s jet...

It re­minded me of an­other de­press­ing Mon­day morn­ing late in 2012, a few weeks af­ter the killings at Marikana. Minework­ers across the coun­try were on strike. Sad South Africa, The Econ­o­mist splashed on its front cover, care­fully dis­sect­ing all our short­com­ings in a scathing lead ar­ti­cle. Moody’s and Stan­dard & Poor’s had just kicked off their down­grades of SA’s debt.

I had to in­ter­view Bobby God­sell, who built his rep­u­ta­tion as a vi­sion­ary leader dur­ing the min­ing strikes of 1987 and, at the time of our in­ter­view, was just named the win­ner of the Sun­day Times Life­time Achiever Award. Times are tough, God­sell ad­mit­ted. “But don’t talk about a prob­lem if you’re not also go­ing to talk about a so­lu­tion. The prob­lems are well known.”

Ad­mit­tedly, most of us can’t do much to the tank­ing rand, the steel sec­tor’s trou­bles or Zuma’s jet. But are we do­ing any­thing when it comes to those mat­ters where we can ac­tu­ally have an im­pact? It’s easy to blame gov­ern­ment and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers. Much harder is to be an ac­tive ci­ti­zen who is, as the beau­ti­fully writ­ten vi­sion state­ment of the Na­tional Devel­op­ment Plan states, sweep­ing and clean­ing one’s own yard.

In the words of God­sell: “I think the real chal­lenge is to love your coun­try, de­mand your rights and the right to crit­i­cise every­body, but to work for so­lu­tions.”

Mat­ter of fact

In our Fund in Fo­cus in the 5 Novem­ber is­sue, we quoted Amanda de Wet, fund man­ager of the Plexus Wealth BCI Prop­erty Fund, as say­ing they are op­ti­mistic about Re­de­fine’s prospects. In fact, the quote should have read as fol­lows: “We aren’t op­ti­mistic about the growth side of Re­de­fine. We think there are a num­ber of other growth op­por­tu­ni­ties.” We re­gret the er­ror.

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