Foreword

South Africa’s time to rise

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If the whole world was a man our cities would be its organs, and our trade lanes its veins – the channel by which goods like nutrients are transported. By putting your finger on the pulse of trade you are actually putting your finger on the pulse of business and the relationships between countries.

The specific goods that different countries import and export and their ability to do so defines a country’s ability to be competitive globally. In order to strengthen our country it is vitally important that the veins of trade that connect our cities are flowing freely. We therefore need to ensure that we have regional intergration within South Africa, Africa and throughout the world.

Supply Chain Logistics is more than just an industry, as it supports pretty much every industry one can think of. From raw materials and resources, procured in one country and manufactured in other, to finished goods and products – everything should be transferred along global supply chains.

Africa is currently undergoing an exciting renaissance. Raw materials are being exported to the rest of the world at a rate like never before and a new emerging consumer market is also rapidly developing throughout Africa. South Africa is fortunate in terms of both its geologic and political positioning. It has very strong relationhips with the rest of Africa and a generally reliable infrastructure.

South Africa, at this stage, has the potential to rise up as a leader of this African renaissance by utilising its skills and infrastructure to help improve not only our growth rate but the growth of our continent as a whole.

It is therefore very important that South Africa starts to gear up its infrastructure towards Africa. We must ensure that our ports, rail and roads systems work effeciently and effectively, and that we are able to integrate data and technologies with partners in and around Africa.

Africa is an interesting place to do business and there are sometimes interesting challenges and institutional voids that need to be overcome. These include, lack of access to electricity, telephones, or even internet connectivity. Africa is a place where you have to roll up your sleeves and get involved if you want to find solutions that ensure business continuity.

In Africa, every challenge is a business opportunity and the companies that realise this are the same companies that continue to have huge success within Africa. This hands-on approach to problem solving is one of the reasons why South African companies are often highly successful within the international context.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             Nachi Mendelow

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