South Africa’s biggest long-term problem: Capitec CEO

 ·23 Apr 2023

Capitec CEO, Gerrie Fourie, says South Africa needs to invest more in education, as South Africa lacks the necessary critical skills to meet business demands.

Speaking at the presentation of Capitec’s Financial Results, Fourie said he did not want to speak about the energy crisis and Transnet as big problems, because most South Africans know of these issues.

However, the CEO did unpack some of the other short-term issues that the country is currently facing and will face for the rest of 2023.

He said that the results of that aggressive spending during the pandemic can be seen now, with record levels of inflation, high-interest rates, and threats of recessions across the world.

Moreover, the recent reopening of China has distorted the whole supply chain, with Fourie expecting the normalisation of the global economy to occur by the end of this year.

He added that the pandemic has caused a change in how people work, with more people working from home – this has led to leadership challenges as the economy starts to normalise again.

The biggest shift that Capitec noticed from the pandemic was more clients moving to digital and away from cash, said Fourie.

His biggest long-term concern is what’s happening in the education space.

“If we want to be a successful country, we need to invest in our education. We can’t have a 30% Matric pass rate, we need to make certain that we get people with Maths, Science, etc.”

He added that South Africa needs to start focusing on education to ensure that the country has the right skills to tackle the problems of the future.


Fourie added that South Africa has immense potential, with Capitec, a wholly South African-focused company, seeing potential growth in the retail space, business banking and insurance.

He said that many South Africans often blame companies and the government but lack the initiative to develop themselves, adding that South Africa needs more people, like entrepreneurs, who are prepared to tackle the economy’s challenges.

However, the CEO said that companies can still play a role, particularly in education, through partnerships.

“We (Capitec) are giving R100-R200 million a year on education. But let’s put ten companies together, and suddenly you’ve got R1 billion to R2 billion, and we can really go and make a difference.”

He said that South Africans need to have a different mindset to unlock the country’s potential.

“There are opportunities, but you’ll never find these opportunities if you’re negative,” Fourie said.

Read: South Africans need to be more optimistic: CEO

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