In the era of innovation and connectivity the idea of an economy built from autonomous industries attending to their own clients with their own suppliers is fast becoming outdated. More and more, savvy organisations understand that operating in isolation is no longer viable, and that by partnering across, or indeed within industries, higher efficiencies, cost reductions and improved customer service can be achieved. A good example of such collaboration is the symbiotic relationship between two competing technology giants Samsung and Apple Inc, where the electronics manufacturer is a key supplier of iphone micro chips and the like. Such symbiosis is a true case of how the seemingly direct competitors in fact can benefit from collaboration in order to function at their full potential.
The South African healthcare industry is a large and complex system, still reflecting, within places of its design, the nation’s fragmented history. The public sector comprises 52 health districts across 9 provinces managing approximately 1000 hospitals and a further 3500 health care clinics offering almost 87 000 beds. In parallel to the public system, private healthcare provides about 31 000 beds via a network of just over 200 hospitals – although this sector services only about 17% of the population through insurance offered by the 90 private medical schemes within the country.
Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda once said: “Development is about more than money, or machines, or good policies – it’s about real people and the lives they lead”. As our country grapples with economic transformation and growth, this quote is particularly relevant, highlighting the need for sustainable interventions and partnerships between corporate South Africa and other stakeholders. With economic growth forecast at a meagre 1%, unemployment at more than 26% and inflation hovering at the 5% mark, it has never been more important to foster entrepreneurship. With each viable business added to the marketplace, employment is created, and resources are utilised, adding to the national product and per capita income of a country.
Consumers, corporate citizenry and regulation drive the demand for sustainable business practices
The last couple of years have undoubtedly been both extremely hopeful for sustainable business practices. The Paris Agreement was ratiﬁed faster than any other similar pact in history, and globally more and more organisations have taken real strides towards their goals of renewable and sustainable business practices. Locally, South African businesses and consumers alike are anticipating the introduction of the long-promised Carbon Tax Bill, which will see penalties levied against excessive carbon emissions.