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Focus on quality of life to improve SA’s future

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Quality of life is a right, not a privilege. This is the view of Dr Lucas Moloi, CEO of Junto Group, and past chairman of the South African Quality Institute (SAQI).
Moloi was one of the key note speakers at an event co-hosted by Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings and SAQI, which has a mission to create total quality awareness and encourage individuals and organisations to focus on the importance of quality as a strategic management tool for global competitiveness; as a generator of wealth and jobs at a local level as well as a key component of business excellence.
The event’s theme was “Improving the Quality of Life” with Moloi suggesting we should all be focusing on quality of life in South Africa and making a concerted effort, as individuals, to save the future of our country.
“We created concentration camps, and now live in jails to protect ourselves from the victims we created. How is that Quality of Life for anybody?” he asks. “Our education system is just producing more people to live in slums. With a pass rate of 35%, nobody is employable. Your child goes to a private school? That’s all good and well, but if each and every one of us does not do something about the public education system, who are the uneducated kids going to steal from to survive? Your child,” he comments.
Dr Moloi also suggests that the levels of inequality in the country made it difficult to achieve the quality of life intended by the constitution. “An unequal society can never be a just society.”
Gideon Du Plessis of Solidarity SA says the current state of the country was not good and more emphasis should be placed on business rescue plans. He says unions are fighting one another instead of working together to find solutions for everyone. “We have lost our social dialogue.”
He suggests we should create more stable working environments and more jobs to counter the effects of globalisation. “European trends of ensuring the well-being of staff goes way beyond bread and butter, their focus is on work / life balance and eliminating stress.
“We probably have one of the most stressed-out work forces in the world with stress and burnout costing the industry R16 billion per year. In addition, father-less societies, caused by migrant labour, have a hugely negative impact on society,” Du Plessis says.
He says we need to create multi-party stakeholder partnerships with business and labour by establishing sustainable models collaboratively with business leaders needing to take the lead by putting proposals on the table.
According to Terry Booysen, CEO of the CGF Research Institute, corporate governance is the corporate way in which one disciplines oneself and business from the top down. Does governance stifle business operations? “No, in fact, it increases return on investment by 22% in a developing country, and an additional 18% in developed countries,” he says.
Just surviving is not good enough, Booysen adds. In order to be able to withstand an unforeseen disaster, one has to be thriving. “It is a process, not an event. Governance is about collective wellness, not individual wellness as in ‘I’. Now is the tipping point and if we do not close the obvious and growing gaps between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’, blood will spill. People have had enough.”
Martin Sanne, executive director of CSIR Material Science and Manufacturing, says if one follows the ideas of Singularity University in California on Exponentiality, the change that will take place in the next 10 years will be more than the total change that has taken place in the last 30 years. “However, are we geared for it?” he asks.
He believes South Africa’s underlying problem is job creation. “There is a leverage in job creation in manufacturing, which means that there are potentially up to 15 jobs created behind every one job created in high tech manufacturing. Thus manufacturing has a large multiplier effect.
“Analysis by Stanlib shows, in order for our GDP to grow above three percent per annum, we need to create at least 50 000 jobs per month, this means manufacturing and industrialisation is a good focus area due to its knock-on effect,” he says.
“We also need to pay attention not only to product, factory and company process life cycle management but also to human capital development. The convergence of technology in the industrial space, as part of the fourth industrial revolution, is a reality and, if we fit in, we will fit into the world-wide value chain, as part of the new trends to ‘glocalisation = globalisation + localisation’. Mass customisation, shorter time to market and increased technological requirements in terms of product sophistication and serviceability is upon us and digitalisation in the form of product lifecycle management (PLM) is essential for survival in business,” he adds.
“If we do not fit in, we will simply fall away, but if we are ready, we will be ready for great abundance in the future.”
Ian Huntly, CEO and MD of Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings, points out that the African Development Goal is that, by 2055, Africa will be the leading continent in the world. “We can do it, it’s up to us as individuals,” he says.
The United Nations introduced the concept of World Quality Day (WQD) in 1990 to worldwide awareness of the important contribution quality makes towards the growth, performance and prosperity of an organisation and a nation as a whole.