/ 17 February 2020

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Gugu Sepamla Barloworld
Now is the time for corporate South Africa to roll up its sleeves and collectively work towards to consolidate its role as a catalyst for social change, says Barloworld's group executive of corporate affairs, Gugu Sepamla

Our national challenges, while daunting, are not insurmountable. Our nation has a history of disasters averted, milestones reached and victories won, which testifies to our resilience. We have a national culture of innovation, an ambitious young population and vast stores of natural resources, which — if carefully curated — can enrich all South Africans, and the idea of shared value can be realised. 

Business drives growth

Our first step towards progressive growth is optimism about our national prospects. We at Barloworld are optimistic about South Africa’s potential, and what can be achieved in future. However, we also cognisant of the realities: state resources are limited. Alone, the government cannot grow the economy and meet the myriad needs of a growing population. Business has and continues to contribute to the nation through job creation, skills development, enterprise development and social investments.

Barloworld powers its development agenda forward 

Barloworld is one of South Africa’s oldest companies, with an established history of contributing to economic and social transformation. Over the years, we have witnessed first-hand the long-term benefits of a shared value approach. In addition to contributing drive to economic growth and job creation, Barloworld has played its part as a business entity, investor, employer and corporate citizen. 

Our purpose, as a company, is “inspiring a world of difference, enabling growth and progress in society”. Our strategy seeks to create value for our shareholders and all stakeholders. Barloworld shareholders have mandated us to execute our corporate growth strategy while simultaneously enabling growth and progress in society, providing us with an opportunity to leave a lasting socioeconomic legacy as we help to address our country’s national development priorities.

Our commitment to sustainable business practices and innovative solutions has led us to pioneer new models for value creation, in which all stakeholders benefit from our operations and corporate citizenship. Consequently we have designed a series of initiatives to fast-track empowerment, deliver shared value and create meaningful, positive change. 

Socially relevant programmes are aligned to Barloworld’s empowerment strategy

As our country gears up to go beyond unleashing its latent potential, to actively driving toward actualisation, we believe that now is the time for corporate South Africa to roll up its sleeves and collectively work to consolidate its role as a catalyst for social progress. We firmly believe that through collaboration, corporate South Africa can, in partnership with government and labour, power the national development plan to fruition. Through targeted initiatives, corporate South Africa can catalyse the development of sustainable jobs, which will have a beneficial ripple effect of uplifting communities and reducing poverty. 

The current administration has taken positive steps to address our economic challenges and provide policy and regulatory certainty to bolster confidence. Corporate South Africa needs to step up, meet government halfway, establish partnerships and combine forces for a united push that delivers change and real progress.

Gugu Sepamla is group executive corporate affairs