Tascha Terblanche (Friend of SAWIP), Banele Lukhele (SAWIP Alumnus 2010), Melvyn Lubega (SAWIP Alumnus 2010) at GIBS dialogue June 2013.

 

On 5 June 2013, another informative dialogue took place with the SAWIP alumni, friends and board of SAWIP at the Gordon Institute of Business (GIBS), Illovo, Johannesburg. SAWIP director, Dr. Renosi Mokate, posed the question: “How can young leaders help shape the economic future of South Africa?”

 

Mokate took a holistic approach to this topic looking at the development of politics, state capacity, equality in society and a productive economy. According to Mokate, seconded by many in the room, a democratic political system is the basis of a healthy economy. She suggested that it is important to look at political participation, accountability and political membership and their relationship dynamics. She went on to say that the development of state capacity is based on the understanding of human capacity development, professionalism and knowledge distribution to name a few. She asserted that it is important for the youth to understand and utilize thepower of technological development as well as the information platform that the social media offer. She quipped that the youth have the power in their hands both literally and figuratively. Mokate went on to explain how, in moving towards a productive economy in South Africa, investment in infrastructure will contribute towards human capacity development. Furthermore, to propel the country towards this productive economy there needs to be a move towards an entrepreneurial culture amongst the youth. To end off her presentation, Mokate spoke about social cohesion, which spoke to the development of equality with inclusion and understanding of social conditions.

 

The dialogue was then opened to the floor which elicited various opinions and perspectives. From SAWIP alumnus, Vivek (class of 2009), we heard the view that there would be positive outcomes if civil society formations would collaborate with political parties in a constructive manner. We also had a brief discussion about the lack of entrepreneurial initiatives from the youth, an opinion presented by George Negota, a guest for the evening. This was responded to by guest, Tshepo Sethokga, who opened up the idea of depoliticising organisations that are established to assist the youth.

 

Toward the end of the session SAWIP board director, Harry Calver, reinforced an answer to the opening question which had been repeated throughout the evening: “Development is freedom”. Dr. Mokate closed the engagement by informing the youth leaders in the room that we must find a systematic way of sharing successful activities to assist this development. This constructive conversation was continued after the formal session over refreshments. Hopefully buds will start blooming soon.