For a city to be transformed or regenerated the workplace had to be regenerated, said Port Elizabeth workplace ministry advocate Mike Smith at the annual conference of the Unashamedly Ethical (UE) movement in Cape Town on Saturday (August 27).
Smith who has been coordinating workplace ministry in PE under the banner of Transformation Christian Network (TCN) since 2006 was invited to participate in a panel discussion at the UE conference following the launch of UE in PE two months ago.
He said that TCN, which has a vision for bringing about measurable social and moral regeneration in Nelson Mandela Bay by working together with leaders in churches, business, education and Government, had realised that UE offered an ideal vehicle for introducing a values programme into the business community.
“But nevertheless we felt we needed to wait for the right moment before introducing it,” he said.
Smith said that the right moment moment came for him when he read a newspaper article by the Executive Dean of the Arts Faculty at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Professor Velile Notshulwana, in which he said that everybody should join the war against graft. UE was launched in PE two months ago through a breakfast attended by business leaders and professionals and a service at St Nicholas Anglican Church addressed by UE international coordinator, Steve Johnstone.
He said TCN would continue to drive the UE process in PE and would present the campaign to organisations and churches that invited them to do so. Since the PE launch they had addressed the AGM of the Black Management Forum, and the female staff of the local SARS office. They had also accepted an invitation to present UE to NMMU students on September 16.
He said he was also in the process of following up on other attendees at the launch breakfast and planning new meetings with other representative bodies, including large corporates in the city and representatives of local government. He would also liaise with the leaders of any emerging UE communities.
Other UE developments
The UE Conference also heard news of other new developments in South Africa. Bloemfontein businessman Hennie Muller said they were planning a “launch” event at a gala dinner early in September, with former Springbok flyhalf Jannie de Beer as the guest speaker.
Pretoria pastor Marcel Versveld and Middelburg businessman Leon Jacobs also reported on their extensive collaboration to promote UE among business people in Middelburg and Witbank.
UE was founded by South African businessman Graham Power in 2009 and has been adopted in various parts of the world. This year UE received invitations to launch the movement in the USA, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kenya and Nigeria. UE signatories pledge to following 10 ethical lifestyle pledges, to joining a global directory of signatories and to becoming accountable to a UE ombudsman.