UPFRONT – VOLUME 5/6 – Nisi mortuous piscem fluxum

Only dead fish go with the flow.

These were the concluding words of the TAPPSA 2016 conference keynote speaker. Steuart Pennington’s 20-minute presentation was a refreshing diversion amid the tough economic times facing most sectors of society as he presented the antithesis to the incessant barrage of bad news on printing presses, airwaves and social media channels.  

Pennington, founder of sagoodnews.co.za, began his presentation by sharing an anecdote from a few years ago when he and his wife had been invited to a dinner party to “celebrate” another couple’s emigration to Australia.

There were some knowing chuckles around the room as he elaborated how the evening panned out – from the moans and groans about it being ‘greener on the other side’ of the Indian Ocean in respect of crime, politicians, healthcare, education – the works. Pennington regaled how he sat listening to the country-bashing conversations – frustrated at not having the facts with which to bust the ‘myths’.

It was here where his journey into uncovering South Africa’s good news began. The facts Pennington shared were enlightening, and I would imagine that for both local and international businesses represented in the audience, the narrative was encouraging and informative.

In the end, Pennington made us face up to a habit we all might share: to believe everything we read and hear; and then perpetuate the bad news cycle and rumour mill, especially when it comes to the state of our country. “Facts count. Not rumours and prejudices.”

From the feedback we have received, Pennington was an absolute hit and we thought that who better to write about his topic than the man himself. You can read Pennington’s opinion piece on page 24 which reflects South Africa’s global competitiveness and some of the good news that we have the opportunity to give more airplay.

You will notice that this issue is a lot bulkier. This is because in late September we took the decision to combine our last two issues for the year into one bumper post-conference issue. This is a fitting precursor to the fact that we are moving to a quarterly frequency in 2017. You can read more about this in the section below.

Given that this is the last journal for 2016, on behalf of the TAPPSA team, thank you for your support. I wish you a blessed, restful and safe festive season and a 2017 that is healthy, prosperous and a little less rushed.

And lastly, don’t be a dead fish.

Till next year,