For decades now, South African citizens and the South African government have been calling for the growth and development of micro-enterprises and lauding this as the solution for sustained growth and development of the country. Corporates have been unable to provide enough employment to sustain the country. What with the additional strain placed on companies resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, escalating cost of resources, lack of resources, lack of appropriate skills and education which school and tertiary education leavers actually possess as they enter the job market, government pressure in the form of throttling micro-management in the form of compliance and unattainable targets resulting from BBBEE (the list can and does go on) there is a lot of pressure that has been placed squarely at the foot of the employer and the workplace to carry the burden. Add to this, something like the looting experienced early July 2021, employers, those who still have businesses, are saying this far and no further.

As businesses of all sizes were burnt to the ground in KZN and Gauteng, so too did the dream of many South African’s who were holding on to the ideal that this country could, and should, be great. As businesses lay in ruins, so sky-rocketed the unemployment rate, almost over-night (actually a few nights). SME’s and SMME’s who were just managing to sustain their families now must begin from scratch … if they can. Those who were yesterday employed, with a consistent salary or wage to get them by, now join the 32% of unemployed people who went before them and are left to try and claim what is left of a completely non-functional UIF system which has failed many who have gone before them. While larger, national companies have the capacity to re-group and re-build, our small and micro enterprises are left, previously lauded as the light of the future, with their flames blown out as the province itself burned.

Shut SA down. This is what the mandate was. And so it was. And once again South African’s have shown their capacity to endure against all odds. While the Small Business Development Department tries to survey the full cost and extend of the damages, there is no time to waste. South African’s from all walks of life have shown how they are prepared to fight for what is right and will ignore the calls for continued blaming and shaming of one another, which only serves to keep us separated and fearful of one another, and replace this with the spirit of Ubuntu. And South African’s have it in spades.

Now is the time for genuine innovation. Genuine plans for not only repairing what has been taken from us but to take it and run with it. We have shown that we are ready and have been for decades. The majority of South African’s cannot be over-shadowed by the small percentage who want to steal power for themselves. Genuine social change and development has happened without the assistance of, and despite, our leadership and those on the ground are ready to do whatever it takes to make our land great again. A country where we show the rest of the world what it means to over-come; what it means to stand up for what is right; a land where we really can be PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN.