I’ve had my share of close personal encounters with crime recently. I won’t bore you with the details, but against the backdrop of David Rattray’s murder, the violent highjacking of a neighbour two doors away, and a vicious attack on Louise, the daughter of a close friend in the district, I got a good dose of pessimism.
I was about to snap, when David Bullard, who brightens my Sundays with his Out to Lunch column in the Sunday Times, was shot and wounded in his Johannesburg home. My optimism index went into the red. I was miserable and depressed, wondering why I was such a naïve idiot to ever believe we could turn this country into one of the greatest in the world. I moped around listless and dejected, but ten days later I started feeling better. The trigger was David Bullard, back with his column headed “South Africa is worth living for…”
He wrote about the prompt professional action of the Parktown police, the superb doctors and nursing staff and said, ”… my optimism for the future of this country has been strengthened rather than weakened. SA is blessed with the finest people you could imagine, therefore good must eventually triumph over evil. If I can believe that, then so can you and you must – otherwise we are all lost. Warfare is all about breaking down the spirit of the people, and our rampant crime is a particularly ugly form of warfare.”
Bullard’s words brought tears to my eyes. I think I was ashamed of the way I’d sulked for the past week or two. Maybe it was a mix of this and the welling up of patriotism which sometimes comes, like when PJ Powers leads the singing of Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika. Well my pessimistic wallowing is over. The police quickly dealt with Rattray’s murderers, and within days caught the thugs that attacked Louise.
To lift my spirits right back to an optimistic high, Stuart Pennington of SA Good News recently wrote about some of the incredible changes that have taken place in South Africa since 1994. Things like 500 000 families moving out of poverty; 400 000 families moving from poor to middle class; car sales increasing from 365 000 new units in 2003 to 730 000 last year; our economy growing at close to 5% per annum while population is growing at less than 1% per annum.
These facts are changing the market at great speed. You need to be making sure your business is ready for these changes. Contact agribusiness consultant Peter Hughes on (013) 745 7303 or e-mail [email protected].