The call to action from 33 SA business leaders

Text of the statement that appeared in City Press and Sunday Times, December 9 2012

Building a winning nation

Call to action from South African business leaders.

South Africa faces major challenges, with 2012 characterised globally and domestically by economic distress, geopolitical changes and much needed introspection. However, the doomsayers who predict a failure of our nation are mistaken. While it is true that labour relations are under stress, that some have lost confidence in our country's long-term success, and that trust has to be rebuilt in key areas of our society, together as South Africans of all persuasions we can renew faith in our country and provide jobs for our citizens - charting a new economic and social trajectory.

We have previously been able to find common ground and put ideologies aside in the spirit of nation-building. We did it in 1994 when we astounded the world with our peaceful transition to democracy. But there is a strong sense that we have lost momentum. Poverty, unemployment, pervasive corruption, and failures in our education system and the rule of law remain serious challenges for our young democracy. There is an urgent need for a common response to put our country back on track to realise its economic and social potential. Left unchecked, our country is in danger of unravelling.

As individuals who occupy positions as Chairmen and CEOs of some of South Africa's leading companies, we commit to working together with government and civil society to overcome our nation's most pressing challenges.


We want a winning nation, and call upon all South Africans to join together and unite to create a South Africa that we can all be proud of


We, the undersigned, in our personal capacity:

Commit to supporting the National Development Plan to achieve a vision for a South African economy three times the present size, an unemployment rate reduced to 6% and significant reductions in poverty and inequality by 2030.

Urge government to leverage and effectively implement existing policies and visions. We commit to working together to develop the programmes needed to achieve our common vision. Where appropriate, we will provide technical and management expertise and will closely support the public sector to meet these goals.

Commit to rebuilding confidence in labour market institutions.

Will promote a zero-tolerance approach towards bribery, fraud, corruption and anti-competitive business practices. We commit to engaging with government and other public sector parties to foster ethical business behaviours necessary to create a modern, efficient and competitive economy that supports the growth of SMMEs, which are crucial for job creation.

Will aggressively promote and prioritise appropriate education, skills development and work related internships through corporate social investment and other initiatives. Our overriding goal will be to ensure that the school and university systems equip students with the skills they need to find good jobs and compete in the global market place.

Roger Jardine

Stephan Malherbe

Martin Kingston

Thero Setiloane

Nick Holland

Sipho Pityana

Leslie Maasdorp

Peter Matlare

Ketso Gordhan

Mark Cutifani

Mike Brown

Bonang Mohale

Terence Goodlace

Adrian Enthoven

Nkululeko Sowazi

Stephen Koseff

Fani Titi

Adrian Gore

Simon Scott

Ralph Mupita

Khanyisile Kweyama

Mardia van der Walt-Korsten

Jayendra Naidoo

Godfrey Gomwe

Vittorio Massone

Nthobi Angel

Norman Mbazima

Nicholas Darius Maweni

Sizwe Nxasana

Chris Griffith

Jabu Mabuza

Peter Moyo

Phillip Barton

This letter first appeared in the Sunday Times and City Press on December 9 2012

Source: Business Leadership South Africa

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