Building in Africa for Africa. Damen in South Africa
South Africa. When you fly to Cape Town and your plane starts its descent, your eye catches the sun, the ocean and then: the land, with Table Mountain and Lion’s Head slowly rising up out of the sea. First impressions: a land of beauty, of wildlife, of sea life; one of the strongest and most stable African countries, both economically and politically.
When you get closer to the landing strip, the other face of this southern-most country on the African continent also becomes apparent: slums surround the airport and children on bare feet are playing in the mud. When I explain to the taxi-driver that I’m here on a business trip, he warns me not to go out alone at night and confides that corruption is a serious problem. Nevertheless, the driver is good-humored, easy-going and proud of a job well-done – a description that seems to fit almost everyone I will meet on this trip.
Driving along, slowly the slums turn into ‘neighbourhoods’ of small, simple, but newly built and freshly painted houses – the result of a government programme for housing the poor in a decent way. It really works, says the driver, and I believe him. You can actually see progress going on. And that is, I think, South Africa’s state of affairs in a nutshell: progress going on.
To me, South Africa is a beautiful country with a positive vibe and a promising political and business climate