I’ve never heard about Black Economical Empowerment before. How ignorant! It is a very big thing here in South Africa. Yes I have heard about „Apartheid“ (like everyone in Europe most probably has) but I didn’t think „forward“. South Africans are forward thinkers. That’s what I have learned today. When Nelson Mandela has taken over he didn’t go for revenge instead he was forgiving and thought about how to best go from where they are step by step. South Africans are people who forgive. They are not resentful. And existing crime is only a logical result of the very bad conditions of the many poor people.
But South Africa has worked it’s way peacefully and things are getting better. Since years South African government is working hard to drive change. The change is geared towards balancing out the prospects that a black person has versus that of a white or colored person. A scorecard was implemented which rates companies. And after some revisions through the past years the black empowerment actually was able to drive real changes in terms of how many blacks are employed in a company, the prospects that they get and the careers that they can make.
We have learned all of this and much more on a welcoming session with the IBM General Manager of the Subsaharan Region, Mapule Ratshefola and Lenhie Daka (both working for IBM and driving „Social Citizenship“ in South Africa). What really impressed me was the way that they’ve presented.
1. They didn’t need any slides to present.
2. They had a hard time to not be carried away while they were talking because they were so genuinely emotional about it.
3. They had so many facts and figures that supported what they have told us.
4. Their faces were so expressive.
Later we went to the „Rhino and Lion park“ together with Vikki and Mapule. It’s been really nice to see the animals. We even had that chance to stroke cubs, a snake, a cheetah, etc. But at the end of the day what impressed me most was that feeling that the local people can be really happy here in South Africa. They have this sincere glowing in their face. They might have gone through a lot in the past, but they are looking forward into the future. Maybe that’s much more important as to have all problems resolved.
In the evening we went to watch the semi final of the cricket world cup. It’s just been opposite the road of our hotel. Pakistan vs. New Zealand was playing. New Zealand won … Finally I learned the rules thanks to Priya who so patiently had explained me everything … well at least at a high level. And when I went to my room later in the evening I caught myself watching some cricket on Television, checking if I can really follow ;-).
Looking forward to learn more here in South Africa.