Isn’t it amazing how quickly you can find someone to agree with you that this country is in a downward spiral and things are getting worse every day?? Everyone has something to complain about or is upset with someone!! We can very easily get together 10 or 20, maybe even a 100 or a 1000 people that can join our pity party and there is never a lack of fuel for the fire once it has been started.


We see businesses fail regularly, especially new start-ups. There are a number of reasons for this and I know that a whole volume of books have and can be written on this subject. But my question is this; “have that made a difference in your life or the lives of the people around you”?

In this very fast moving changing world it is very easy to be left behind by technology and the need to think outside the box in order to achieve our goals and success. I believe that the reason why many businesses are failing is because of a lack integrity, planning and the desire to make “a Quick Buck”. We are bombarded every day about who we should be, what we should have and how we should get it through the media and advertising campaigns!!

I have been in business for more than 30 years and I have come to realise that there is no legal easy way to make a “Quick Buck”. Our country is at the brink of either collapsing or it is on the brink of surging into the future through the growth and prosperity of its people. I am a 100% South African and I don’t believe that colour of race makes a difference in what we can do to help our country grow!! Racism is a terrible evil no matter by who it is perpetrated and it will bring any country to its knees if it is allowed to exist and even grow!!

So let us all as fellow South Africans work together to a brighter and better future by doing what is right not only in our own eyes but also in the eyes of the law of this country.We need more new businesses in this country in order to create more jobs, but we need businesses that have integrity and are looking to a long and prosperous future and not just the here and now. We all need money to survive in this world, but we if we believe that it is only money that we need, then we have already missed the boat!!

We need unity within the country between all the races represented and we need a compassion for those who do not have employment and those that cannot feed their families because of unemployment. What I am saying is this: we need entrepreneurs who are willing to start new businesses with the view of doing it right with integrity and a long term goal. We need business owners that are willing to grow their businesses and employ more people. But the responsibility does not must lie with business owners. We need employees that understand the difficulty of running a business in this difficult financial climate and that are willing to go the extra mile to make the business profitable. Immediately there will be those who will say; “tell that to my boss or tell that to my employees”.

I believe integrity will overcome most of these problems. If I deal with my staff with integrity and compassion, they will be more willing to go the extra mile for the business, but it takes consistency. One act of compassion or one act of integrity does not change someone but the consistency thereof will!

I believe that we can make South Africa a greater country than what it already is!!! But in order to do this we need our people to stand up and be counted for being honest and living with integrity and compassion. Let’s not point to others and say “they need to change before this country can change”! Let us start by changing and being more consistent in our integrity and compassion and others will follow!!! Let what we do not just be about us and for us but let it be for all around us not only to see but to experience!! Let’s do business with integrity and compassion and let’s help our country grow to alleviate poverty and unemployment through hard work and sustainable businesses!!

I trust that there will be some out there that can identify with this and will be willing to cooperate with others that are willing to bring change to our beautiful country! I am willing to help new start-ups and struggling businesses if they are willing to do it the right way – Integrity and Compassion.

Pieter Swanepoel

Director: Alethia Accounting and Business Services (PTY) LTD