Capitec and SA Cabinet – opposite ends of the technology spectrum

On a recent flight after a presentation in the Cape, I was surrounded by a cluster of senior politicians. My neighbour explained they were returning home after a cabinet meeting, hence SAA’s packed Business Class.

What struck me most was that not a single one of these worthies pulled out a laptop, tablet or even a cell phone to catch up on their overload. One did work through a pile of papers, but the rest were either contented to chat to hangers-on and each other; or in one notable case, brooded with arms folded staring out the window. The Information Age has yet to make an appearance in the upper echelons of South African political power.

My studio guest yesterday reflected the opposite end of the technology spectrum. Capitec’c CEO Gerrie Fourie told me he often pops into the Financial Director’s office next door to check which of the bank’s 720 branches are still open after 6pm. They’re all networked, as is everything else about this world class business which prides itself on delivering audited financial results just four weeks after the year end.

Capitec’s excellent performance (earning and dividends up 26% last year; 1m new clients) shows what happens when an organisation keeps up with technology. Given SA’s awful recent record, perhaps it’s time to invest in some Macbooks for the cabinet?