Over the past two weeks, we dedicated a large chunk of our time to training and self-development. Among others, our team members did a first aid course and received training on how to deal with aggressive people and situations. This was part of our preparation for an internal communication audit for a client. This project is going to take us into remote rural areas of our country, in the run up to municipal elections that will be contested in a highly charged political environment. Add to that the high unemployment rate and accompanying levels of frustration in rural areas, and the risks become apparent.

Should we not do this work? Of course not. Doing this work, and doing it well, is what makes DevCom who and what it is. The ability to function in, and make sense of, complex situations is the value we bring.

Because we are not afraid of literally getting our hands dirty, we see the impact of the current political climate every day, and it fuels our desire to make a difference.

This then is also the reason why CEO Mari Lee currently sits on the Nedlac SMME and Cooperatives Task Team that has to give feedback to the Parliamentary Committee on Small Business Development on 6 matters:

  •        The revision of the Small Business and Cooperatives Act.
  •        A summary of the research available on the status of SMMEs in South Africa.
  •        An evaluation of the operational efficiency of the institutions mentioned in the Act and in the research.
  •        How to reduce red tape.
  •        Financial and procurement support that SMMEs and cooperatives need.
  •        General support that SMMEs and cooperatives need.

Mari is one of the business representatives on the task team. Other constituencies represented are communities, government and organised labour.

Engagement at this level can be tedious and time-consuming, but at DevCom we believe, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, that you have to be the change you to want to see.

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