Editor's Note

The Springboks and effective leadership

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The recent Rugby World Cup in Japan has been a prime example of how South Africans can thrive by working together, and not pulling in different directions. With all the turmoil that this great country has endured of late, from economic freefall to rampant corruption revelations, this win could not have come at a better time.

During the Springboks’ warm-up games I sensed that something rather special was in the air and fate would deliver us a much-needed World Cup win. In 1995, Francois Pienaar’s men brought a bitterly divided country together for one goal: to beat arch rivals New Zealand, and prove our worth after years of isolation from the international arena.

Biased media and certain political leaders in South Africa often work to divide people for their own gain. We are bombarded with images of hate and distrust. Good news stories are few and far between, which is why the World Cup win was so vital to the news cycle.

Meanwhile, our struggling logistics and truck OEM sector is in dire need of some positive news. Fleet owners have been battered since Jacob Zuma took over as president, and dwindling investor confidence and a lack of infrastructure maintenance means the industry is staring down the barrel, again.

To make matters worse for the logistics sector, the fuel price has been on a steady upward trajectory, which is not helped by the new Carbon Tax. Why, when South Africa has very little economic growth and mountainous debt, would you want to introduce another tax to burden business?

South Africa is not Europe, so why try and adapt European style legislation? Europe is a lot smaller, with more people and less open space. In my opinion, topics like global warming and climate change are used to allow governments to collect more tax. Does it have anything to do with actual environmental shifts? In nature nothing stays constant, so a certain amount of climate change is natural.

Cape Town enjoyed one of its wettest and coldest winters in years. When I’m huddling around a fire, global warming is the furthest thing from my mind.

Let’s be honest, the current political system has largely failed us. The entire notion of democracy is built on a weak premise. It is a popularity contest, not a qualification contest. For example, if you want to become a doctor you need to study for six years plus a long internship. Yet, there are no qualifications needed for the most important job in the land.

Take a country like Canada. Many government ministers have real-world experience in the fields they represent. For example, the Minister of Transport was an astronaut. Our ministers are shuffled around from post to post, often with no experience. Until this shifts, meaningful economic change in this country is unlikely.

Effective leadership is vital for any sports team, or country, to survive the test. Just ask Rassie Erasmus and Siya Kolisi.

Until next time,

Gregory Simpson

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