He inspired faith in the economy
THE BUSINESS community has hailed Nelson Mandela for how he raised the profile of South Africa, steered the country during the transition years, and attracted investors. While we mourn the passing of the world’s icon of democracy and reconciliation, the business community has every reason to celebrate his contribution to the foundation of South Africa’s democracy, positive investment climate and the reintroduction of the country to the world stage.
In the formative years of our democracy, Madiba’s steadfast focus on nation-building and the development of pragmatic economic policy was crucial in building investor confidence. Early in South Africa’s democracy, investors were able to put political stability as the least of their worries on their list of factors important when considering investment. “Mandela will be remembered as a political visionary who remained concerned with the everyday issues of his fellow citizens,” said chief executive Neren Rau. “Sacci wishes to add its voice to calls from numerous quarters that South Africa should honour Mandela’s life by reflecting his legacy of nation-building and companionship across all walks of life.” “During his term as our country’s first democratically elected president, he raised the stature of South Africa as a secure destination for hope, growth and investment, especially in the mining sector.”
The chamber said Mandela was an inspiration to all and would always be remembered as a figure of peace, reconciliation and unity. As with many South Africans, we at BLSA share the grief over the loss of one of the country’s greatest leaders who played a crucial role in unifying our country, leading the transition to democracy and laying the foundations for economic growth. Although we are mourning the passing of Madiba, it would be wrong not to celebrate the life that he lived. We must laud him for not harbouring hate or feelings of retribution, but rather becoming a servant of all South Africans and fostering reconciliation between all the racial groups in our beautiful country. It is only on this foundation of peace, that we could start building our country to what it is now and what it will become. Chairman of the board Jabu Mabuza said: “The only way for us to pay adequate tribute to Mr Mandela is through our thoughts and our actions. We should reflect on his achievements, attained despite the circumstances of his life. We must remember his values, his sense of dignity and his respect for every human being. And we must all act in a manner that continues the tradition of demonstrating humanity towards others, of reaching out to those who are most in need and of committing ourselves to being of service to the people.” Whitey Basson, chief executive, said: “We unite in remembering the greatest South African of our lifetime, Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
“The world has lost an iconic statesman and a courageous leader. He, with modesty and humanity, devoted his life to changing and shaping our country for the best. Let us continue his long walk and climb every great hill with his devotion and acceptance of the responsibilities freedom brings.” Today, we can also celebrate the life and legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who personified the values we seek to build in our community. In admiration and humility, and in light of his spirit of inclusiveness, we will always respect him, even as one of our own forebears. We will seek to live and expand his legacy.
Madiba grew up in the context of a traditional community with traditional decision- making structures, and drew on the power of consultation and consensus throughout the course of his leadership. This made him all the more inclusive, approachable and influential. He shared the traditional understanding of the need to address the holistic person – the individual as a social and emotional being, linked to a wider community, which strengthened his ability to find common ground with former enemies and allies alike. “Without his legacy, South Africa would not have become the thriving country it is today, and South Africa’s economy would not have achieved the gains it has in the last 19 years,” said chief executive Mark Cutifani.
“History will recognise him as a giant among men; as an iconic leader who fought throughout his life not only for equality, but for the basic human rights of all.
“He was integral to the ushering in of democracy in South Africa, and led the country with distinction, stature and humility during his presidency.”
Anglo American vowed to live up to Mandela’s legacy by making a difference to all South Africans. Group president and chief executive, Sifiso Dabengwa, said: “Mandela leaves a rich legacy of reconciliation, world peace and the triumph of the human spirit over all adversity.
“He never lost his compassion, humility and common humanity. He taught us to love ourselves, to love one another and to love our country.
“So, as we celebrate his selfless efforts on behalf of human dignity, it also represents an enduring challenge for us all.” – Staff Reporter
WORLD’S LOSS: Whitey Basson calls for all to continue the long walk.