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Tladi John Ndlovu
Lloyd Anderson



[summit says: instant interviews]


Subject: Tladi John Ndlovu, Summit driver and entrepreneur, GCM Meter Services

How did you end up working for the summit?


A guy won the contract to do the transport, but there was a condition that he had to employ disadvantaged people. Some people, when they are down and out, the only thing they can think to do is to beg. But there are those who think: "here is an opportunity, what is it I can do?" If you have ambition, you always try and find out how to get involved. And this is where I could see I could feature in the summit.


What do you think of the summit?


We are excited by it, even if we don't fully understand it. The way it was explained to us was that we are going to present our situation to our visitors. And, because they are concerned with development in Africa, we have been told they will be making certain commitments to try and end the current situation, where poverty is rife. They'll be coming up with solutions - creating jobs, helping the country to move forward in many ways.


What is the current situation like in South Africa?


I am a man of 47 years - and, for the first time, I have started doing things independently without relying on anybody. I can make a living for myself. Before, whether you went to school or not, we were dependent on others. We had to go to them for employment. But now, if you have some talent, you can pursue your own career.


We are currently led by a very intelligent president. He has a real knowledge of what is expected when running a country. And he has passion towards the people he is leading. We are not talking about leaders who are power mongers. We are talking about leaders who are called to lead the people. Many times we are told, you won't see the tree by its leaves, but you will see it by its fruits. Some of us are now enjoying these fruits.


When you look at what the government is coming up with now, it creates self-confidence in us, it drives away the fear. We used to worry about how risk would work out, but now we are not scared to take a risk because we are confident in this government.


So are things improving for people?


Yes, they are improving. Look at these housing projects. The government is trying its level best to move people away from staying in shacks. I am not saying it is building big houses, but even these little houses are really appreciated by people. In places where people did not have water, they are now beginning to enjoy this advantage. Electricity is also becoming something for everybody - whereas before it was just for the privileged.


What does your future hold?


I grew up in Soweto, but we have gradually been moving from one level to another. I am living in the suburbs now. I am excited by this. And I hope that everybody will some day enjoy this privilege. I am a man with four children. The eldest is 22. The only future I can give to my kids is to work very hard and see to it they get a good education. It's the only solution.


I have started a business as a result of an opportunity from the government, which is outsourcing services like the reading of water and electricity. We took advantage of that and I managed to get contracts from Eskom, the parastatal that is running these services.


The business is a joint venture with a traditional white company. Some of us, irrespective of what happened in the past, still believe that black and white can work together in this country. Things that have been in the past, we just have to put them aside. There is no way we could perform to the highest level if we can't work with the people who have the expertise and the infrastructure. This is why I personally decided to have a relationship with this white man. Working with him, if I am honest, has definitely helped us learn a lot.

22 August 2002





Who?Tladi John Ndlovu
What?Summit driver and entrepreneur
Where?GCM Meter Services

“We are talking about leaders who are called to lead the people.

Many times we are told, you won't see the tree by its leaves, but you will see it by its fruits.

Some of us are now enjoying these fruits.“

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