Recently while considering the direction South Africa is taking and the view people all over the world have of South Africa, I considered a variety of words and attributes that might depict the current situation aptly. 

Consider the meaning of the following and apply them to various situations, individuals and businesses in our country. 
Ask yourself if leaders are honest, ethical, have high morals and values, abide by codes of conduct and behaviour that is acceptable both nationally and internationally, and if they abide by the laws of the country and business law.  

Consider the following:  
  • Honesty, truthfulness and openness – Is it the same as you would expect from others?  
  • Ethics, moral principles and values – If you test your actions against your principles? 
  • Goodness and virtue – If you are upright in all aspects of your personal behaviour?
  • Standards of life – What your attitudes and philosophy are?
  • Law-abiding  – Are you aware of all your actions and the agreed social code?

In many instances South Africa is an amoral country, where some leaders in business and politics are unprincipled, unethical, dishonest, unscrupulous, immoral and wanting in principles. That applies to people who will not stand up for what they believe to be right. 

We cannot sit on the fence or follow the crowd. We must each stand up for what we believe to be right.
What can we do to change this? What can be done to change the perception of South Africa that prevails both nationally and internationally?  

We must ask ourselves the question, how far do we in every detail of our lives conform to the above attributes?

Where in my life do I cut corners or fall short of the high standards listed above?

When I consider my family, do we live accordingly to these standards? Do I set a clear example in my circle of friends and in my working environment? 

What can we do to change behaviour and what can be done to change the perception of South Africa that prevails nationally and internationally?  

The country needs a new national convention, where we take stock of where we are, where we need to go, what is needed to get us there, and what the minimum requirements and duties of individual have to be. 

Des Squire is a managing member at Amsi and Associates. Contact [email protected]  

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