Hloniphizwe J. Mtolo

Transformation should open the way to Nation-building

Building a new socio-economic future in South Africa should be about nation-building, and goes beyond regulatory targets.

By Hloniphizwe J. Mtolo on May 31, 2020

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The transformation of South Africa is a process that requires a multifaceted response to societal needs; it is a task that must encompass the country’s priorities and include addressing the socio-economic ills of poverty, education, skills development, unemployment and inequality. The focus must be on nation-building with wholehearted public and private participation, motivating and enabling change.

Without a common objective, the process of societal change risks becoming a series of corporate-focused interventions that concentrate on meeting the regulatory requirements of various industry charters rather than creating opportunities for national growth and development.

"Making a difference is more than a financial contribution to transforming society, it is also about investing oneself in the process to ensure sustainable impact."

The difference between the two concepts is stark. A cooperative approach between private and public participants enables nation-building to be geared to meeting the needs of society. In a macro-environment where change is constant, a simple corporate approach cannot hope to answer the broad spectrum of needs. The risk of forever remaining focused on achieving numbers and percentages means that change will always be slower than required.

A dedicated corporate strategy that looks beyond numbers and is integrated across several programmes will help build the skills for an entire sector and produce the needed progress in an increasingly technical workplace.

"At Shell we can proudly say that we go far beyond what is expected of us by industry charters and the sector."