Event date: 19 July 2017
July 2017 Johannesburg Members’ Business Briefing, with guest speaker Sipho Pityana and visiting UK Minister of State at the Dept. for International Trade, Lord Price, in attendance – sponsored by Discovery
Johannesburg based Chamber members were in for a real treat as our July Business Briefing featured speaker Mr. Sipho Pityana – Chairman and founder of Izingwe Holdings and well known business leader – and a short introductory talk by Lord Price, UK Minister of State at the Dept. for International Trade. There to introduce the visiting minister was British High Commissioner to South Africa – Mr. Nigel Casey CMG MVO.
Lord Price – himself a respected businessman and author who was at the helm of John Lewis and Waitrose for a number of decades – gave some concrete guidance relating to the UK’s international trade policy going forward post Brexit. The core belief from which future international trade policy will stem is that business is a force for good that uplifts people out of poverty, builds trust through good relationships and in turn results in prosperity for all. Steadfast in this belief the UK will also champion a free and fair multilateral trade system and as seamless as possible a transition in new trade agreements.
Following this positive message from the minister, the main speaker of the evening Mr. Sipho Pityana gave his views on the future of SA business in the midst of much uncertainty. He remains very hopeful for a number of reasons, but most of all because of his trust in SA’s strong constitution, which still guarantees the supremacy of the rule of law; free expression – and media; strong institutions and a world class anti-corruption framework. With corruption dominating headlines over the past few years, Mr. Pityana draws courage from the fact that those who have sought to transgress the law continue to be ousted and cannot get away. He is encouraged by the focus on inclusive growth from business, it’s proactiveness as well as the force unleashed by ordinary citizens to hold government and individuals accountable.
“Sipho gave a fearless speech that was refreshingly frank and direct – there IS hope for a bright future here” – Ron Wheeldon, Ron Wheeldon Attorneys
“I truly believe that the comments, beliefs and ideas espoused today will uplift South Africa in particular into the future. A great time to be alive!” – Gary Davies, Sable International