On the 6th of February 2019, two of Khuthaza Foundation‘s Co-Founders Bianca Wannenburg and Sipho Mabusela attended the FinBiz2030 Launch that was held at Investec. The event aimed to bring together the finance and business community as a force for change, to find opportunities and encourage a commitment to tackle issues that have an impact on all South Africans and achieve the long-term Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations In 2015.
If the SDGs are to be achieved, there needs to be a change in the way that we conduct finance and business, it cannot be business as usual. At the One Young World Conference (OYW) where both of our Co-Founders were in attendance in 2018 at the Hague, the former CEO of DSM Nutritional Products Feike Sijbesma made a moving speech that had the whole conference room in tears. One of the things that he said was that “business cannot be successful in a world that fails”. It is as simple as that, if the finance and business sector wants to be successful and have customers then they need to invest in bettering our beloved country to get more people involved in our economy.
To do exactly that, FinBiz2030 thought that the first event should explore ways in which the finance and business community together with OYW, Chartered Accountants Worldwide and SAICA can collaborate effectively to meet the 2030 SDG goals. The following were the desired outcomes:
· To define the vision and establish the objectives for the finance & business community for 2020/2021
· To develop a plan of action and Terms of Reference
· To highlight the leading issues we would like to tackle, specifically in the South African context
· Develop a structure for individuals to get personally actively involved (potentially project teams)
· Identify key actions that can be taken to tackle issues
· Determine how business can contribute to these key actions
Although there are 17 SDGs, on the day there was particular emphasis on the following 4 as well as what they meant in the South African context:
· SDG 4 Quality Education – How to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
· SDG 10 Reducing Inequality – How do we reduce inequality including those based on gender, race, religion, origin and economic status
· SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth – How to we promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, productive employment and decent work for all
· Climate Action 3 – How to address the needs of developing countries to both adapt to climate change and invest in low carbon development
The discussions on the day were robust, engaging and honest. This is exactly the type of energy and drive that we need to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Under each SDG, there was a keynote speaker who is well versed on the subject to share their views, what they are currently doing to address the particular SDG as well as their recommendations on what the FINBIZ2030 community could do to achieve the SDGs.
After all the talks, the tables broke into different discussion groups to find issues faced by South Africans from all walks of life under the 4 SDGs as well as the possible solutions that FINBIZ2030 could be able to implement after the launch. Each discussion was followed by a feedback session, where a designated speaker per table summarized the findings from their group.
At the end of the event, attendees pledged to actions they would commit to taking. Also, a core task force was formed, composed of committed people who can develop and implement an action plan. The echo around the room was that the time of talk has passed and it is time to take decisive actions and get our hands dirty to achieve a more inclusive South Africa with equal opportunity for all through providing good quality education, reducing inequality, providing decent work and economic growth, and ensuring that all this is achieved without impacting negatively on the natural resources of current and future generations.
OYW Ambassadors attending the FinBiz2030 Launch
Accessed: February 19, 2020