ED'S NOTE

Only the strong survive

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It has been refreshing to see Business Leadership South Africa CEO Bonang Mohale take a hard line against corruption by suspending reported bad apples Eskom and Transnet from the association.

This comes after years of rumblings about reported poor service delivery by both essential services. Our rail networks are falling into disrepair on the key Joburg to Durban trade line that is woefully underutilised considering the immense amount of truck traffic on that busy stretch of road. How can we leave such an important logistics asset operating at dismal capacity?

There has been talk of a high-speed line between the two cities, but that has been going on for eight years and talk is cheap. It would appear that Transnet would rather spend millions on buying the wrong size locomotives at great expense, a blunder that added to the fire referred to by Mohale. When decisions are made for money and not common sense there will always be a trust and performance deficit.

And then on to Eskom, who have done everything in their power, and then some, to crush the rise of renewable energy by hedging their bets on dirty coal and potentially harmful nuclear energy. All at great cost to South African tax payers. With our abundant sun and wind, together with hybrid technology and gas, why do we need dirty energy in the first place?

You could argue that the constant load shedding from 2006 - 2010 was an attempt to convince people that we needed more power. To power what? An economy that is growing at snail’s pace needs sound leadership not more debt and excess.

It is interesting that both companies had the same CEO, who has served as a leader in both organisations under a reported cloud of conspiracy.

It is heart-warming to see strong leadership come out against the reported poor management of our key assets. With courage like that, Mohale is a shining example of better leadership.

Having said that, corruption is a two-way street and business needs to accept its role and improve where necessary. At the end of the day, it takes two to tango.

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