Stronger leaders are needed in business and government to turn South Africa around, says Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas.
Speaking at a farewell dinner in Port Elizabeth for outgoing Volkswagen SA managing director David Powels, who is leaving for Brazil soon, Jonas said the country needed more leaders of his ilk to push the economy in the same direction as the government.
He said the formidable businessman, a visionary leader and tough negotiator, was one of the Eastern Cape’s “greatest stars”.
Powels, who was born and raised in the city, takes over as president of VW Brazil next month, where he will head up four plants with a total of 22 000 employees.
VW is Brazil’s biggest car manufacturer – producing more than 700 000 cars a year – and one of the company’s largest outside Germany.
Jonas said when he first met Powels he asked himself, “Is this guy for real?”, after Powels bluntly told him what he thought of policy-makers.
– Cindy Preller
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