Johannesburg, 27 July 2023 – In a remarkable display of unity and determination, 115 CEOs from some of South Africa’s most influential corporations have assembled to collaboratively address the challenges hindering inclusive economic growth in the country. Boasting a combined workforce of 1.2 million employees and a staggering market value of R11 trillion, these CEOs have made a formal commitment to be the driving force behind positive change.
This extraordinary initiative, emphasizes the significance of pooling together individual knowledge and experiences as a currency for progress. Tinashe Mpasiri, a dedicated member of BOAF (Banking On Africa’s Future Network), describes BOAF as a much-needed knowledge repository or knowledge bank. “When minds meet on a problem, a solution can be realized quicker,” he asserts, highlighting the power of collective experiences, insights, and ideas. By sharing these perspectives, individuals are inspired to think and act beyond conventional boundaries, ultimately sparking innovative thinking and opening doors to new possibilities.
“The 115 CEOs are the points of light we can bank on to secure the future of South Africa,” Mpasiri states with conviction. Their bold actions should serve as an inspiration for others to unite and develop a shared understanding of the challenges faced by businesses in the country. This shared understanding becomes the bedrock for swift problem-solving.
In parallel to the CEOs’ dedication, chambers, associations, networks, and clubs, such as Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), play a crucial role in accelerating industry and commerce. These platforms facilitate open, frank, and honest conversations, which are essential in shaping and defining the future of South Africa collectively. Mpasiri draws a historical parallel, likening the 115 CEOs to the Randlords of the past who played a vital role in building the nation and establishing corporate South Africa.
One of the critical issues that the CEOs and their companies seek to address is the current state of the South African economy, marked by low growth, collapsing infrastructure, rampant crime and corruption, and alarmingly high levels of inequality and unemployment.
Adrian Gore, Vice President of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and Group CEO of Discovery, emphasizes that the CEOs’ pledge is not a mere symbolic gesture but a tangible commitment to drive change in key sectors crucial for economic recovery. This concerted effort comes in the wake of a partnership announcement between President Cyril Ramaphosa and BUSA’s structure, Business for South Africa. Together, they plan to implement interventions in the areas of energy, transport and logistics, as well as crime and corruption.
In a joint statement, the CEOs expressed their unwavering belief in the immense potential of South Africa. They are united in their commitment to building a better future and have set their sights on resolving current challenges to achieve sustainable, inclusive economic growth.
As the 115 minds converge, driven by a shared vision and a desire for progress, there is optimism that their collective efforts will serve as a catalyst for transformative change, not only in South Africa but for the entire African continent. The resolve of these business leaders sets a precedent for others to follow, reinforcing the idea that together, with a common purpose, a brighter and more prosperous future can be realized.