Thanks to incredibly high levels of member engagement over recent months, the positive momentum of the ACT rebuild project has continued to great effect. As we not only recover from the Covid-19 pandemic but also try to navigate rising interest rates, food price inflation, fuel cost increases, load-shedding, and increasingly devastating weather anomalies – along with an increasingly uncertain global geopolitical space – the importance of stronger business unity, and deeper collaboration between business and government cannot be understated.
Driving economic growth and increasing regional resilience, is now more than ever, something which requires all role players to collaborate. It is imperative that the private sector organises itself better – into a more unified and powerful collective – if we hope to overcome the challenges confronting us. A key aspect to successful collaboration is to engage government honestly and robustly, and to find the opportunities to work together toward a more prosperous future.
Accelerate Cape Town members collectively represent more than 150 000 direct jobs and multiples more indirect jobs through ESD programs, suppliers, and subsidiaries. We have a critical role to play and will serve to create neutral platforms that allow for business and government leaders to get to know each other and the work we do, thereby building a stronger, more collaborative & resilient regional economy.
We have continued our series of ongoing conversations with Provincial leadership, hosting a dinner with Premier Alan Winde, at the beginning of June, to share his vision for the region. As usual there was a lot to talk about – with a range of areas that impact on business in the region, including energy security, plans for improving public transport, the increasing costs of doing business, and crime, amongst others. We were also joined by MEC Simmers and MEC Mitchell to learn more about their new departments of Infrastructure and Urban Mobility respectively, and to understand how we might work with and support their new departments. It was incredibly impressive and encouraging to learn more about the innovation, and courage to do things differently, that has characterised Premier Winde’s leadership.
We followed up with a lunch at the end of June with Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, MEC Mireille Wenger, to share her vision for creating jobs & stimulating the regional economy, and to understand how we might work with and support her in this quest. This was another fantastic opportunity to build relationships and MEC Wenger’s theme – Hope in a Time of Crisis – was extremely well conceived, given current business sentiment.
Reducing inequality and transforming our society is essential to sustainable business and it has become increasingly important for organised business to chart a way forward in that regard. B-BBEE policies have not worked to transform society as companies have become expert at ‘gaming’ their scorecards, resulting in the B-BBEE framework becoming de-humanised and focused on quantitative measures only. It was therefore an enormous privilege and honour to host Zinzi Mgolodela and Dr Wilhelm Verwoerd for an insightful discussion around inclusive social justice, in the Allan Gray auditorium, during August.
Finally, in this edition’s Leadership Spotlight, we share some great insights as we celebrate the leadership of Michelle Olckers, the Co-CEO of Mazars South Africa and the Managing Partner of Mazars Cape Town.
I hope you enjoy this edition of the newsletter and I look forward to our future engagements!