Fetola CEO and Founder, Catherine Wijnberg, recently asked programme participants, mentors and small business owners what they would do if they were president of South Africa for a day. The responses poured in from all over the country and the responses were overwhelming. Our letter was subsequently published in The Cape Times.
Dear Mr. President,
As a successful businessman, you are no stranger to the struggles that many South Africans face in their journey to build a better life for themselves and their families. Many of us toy with the idea of being president for a day and all that we would do to change the state of our country.
With your first 100 days in office nearing a close I took it upon myself to ask small business owners: ‘What would you do if you were president for a day?’ Responses poured in and I was overwhelmed with the answers I was given. What was remarkable was that each person knew exactly what they would do to change the course our country is on.
“I will decree for peace more than freedom. I’ll apply a strong law that will respect every human, and take away the freedom that allows criminals to deprive innocent citizens. Because abuse of freedom in South Africa is taking the country into the ditch.”
– Phumza Matwele
“A lot of people in our country are struggling; struggling in different ways and levels. Therefore, if I were the president for just a day I would invest resources in instilling hope and encouragement of unity – helping one another with our different struggles.”
– Lerato Kgaswane
“I would introduce and pass legislation that advocates radical economic transformation, and pass legislation on free and compulsory education in RSA. I would also pass legislation that empower small and medium enterprises through funding and training.”
“Over afternoon tea I’d cut the defence force by 80%, reintroduce an active citizen force of all colours in case we ever need an army. The excess soldiers I’d utilise as a workforce to fix roads, build houses and do community work. Communities with needs could apply for their help. The navy would be put to work protecting our coasts from drug smuggling and illegal fishing. The airforce would be used to swell the numbers in anti-poaching teams.”
– Simon Kerr
“No tolerance for crime will be allowed and the justice department will receive all the support it needs. Police recruitment and EE criteria will be addressed to ensure that the police get people who want to be in service and not just have a job! Rhino and any animal poaching for that matter will be addressed as a matter of urgency.”
– Anna Harris
“I am so over race… Not because I am mostly interracial, but we need co-operation between black and white.
South Africa is the only country that is loved by most countries in Africa and the only country that has managed to keep its citizens both black and white after its liberation.”
– Pakama Punguzwa
Mr. President, your people have spoken. Will you listen?