Picture: for illustration purposes

Filling the Governance Vacuum: The Crucial Role of South African Business Leaders

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

Business visionary Tony Leon is urging South African business leaders to step up and fill the evident governance vacuum in the country. This exhortation, drawing parallels to the life and work of the late Harold Pearson - the founder of Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden, underscores the lasting effects of mindful leadership on the community and generations to come.

Positioned overlooking Cape Town's famed Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden, next to a towering cedar tree, rests the grave of Harold Pearson. His epitaph, a tribute to Sir Christopher Wren, humbly states, "If ye seek his monument look around you.” Pearson, who passed away at a young 46 in 1916, never lived to witness the development of his vision. Over a century later, the trees and plants he painstakingly collected continue to enchant, cultivate and evolve, shaping the distinguished botanical garden's identity.

Pearson's lasting legacy serves as a clear testament to how influential leadership, vision, and investment in the future can survive through time. In drawing this comparison, Leon draws attention to the void of governance and the need for today's business leaders to step up, and create their lasting impact.

By doing so, these leaders can leave an enduring legacy akin to Pearson's, impacting the business sector and society at large long after they have passed. This call-to-action offers an opportunity for business magnates to motivate, drive change, and facilitate improvement in governance policies, ultimately nurturing a more prosperous, sustainable South Africa.

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