Colin Coleman on South Africa’s current realities and how we can triumph through our 3 main challenges

On this week’s Business Unusual podcast, Topco Media CEO, Ralf Fletcher, sits down with Colin for a dynamic and informative discussion

Colin Coleman on our Current Realities and how we can Triumph Through them

Defeating COVID-19, the war on corruption and rescuing the economy. These are three main challenges we are facing at this time, according to this week’s podcast guest, Colin Coleman.

Leading commentator and influencer on African affairs, Colin Coleman recently presented a speech at the University of Cape Town’s Vice-Chancellor’s Open Lecture. The speech was titled “From a Two-Speed Society to one that Works for All” and centred on a ten-point action plan to grow an inclusive South African economy and escape a socio-economic crisis. Colin opened his speech by stating that South Africa is in trouble. However, this is just a prefix to the rest of his speech in which he lays out an action plan to right all the wrongs we are currently facing. As one of South Africa’s most prominent investment bankers and an expert on the economic development challenges and opportunities across Africa, Colin is forward-thinking, action-oriented and deeply passionate about South African economics and current affairs.

On this week’s Business Unusual podcast, Topco Media CEO, Ralf Fletcher, sits down with Colin for a dynamic and informative discussion ranging from how we can address South Africa’s current challenges to what’s needed to drive a culture of entrepreneurship. Colin’s insights are equally optimistic and realistic as he dives into the three main challenges which South Africa is facing at this point and how we can combat them. Among other topics, Colin and Ralf discuss the notion of debt spiral, how we can make the most of our dynamic economy and the problem with ridged ideological boundaries.

Key takeaways to listen out for in this podcast

  • Right now we should get out of our comfort zones and take a surgical look at society to ask where we are and what is needed.
  • There are three main challenges we are facing at this time-

1.defeating COVID-19

2.the war on corruption and

3.rescuing the economy.

  • There needs to be a social compact element when it comes to facing and solving these problems – we need an agreement between all arms of society in order to move forward.
  • We need to get past being so ridged and set in ideological boundaries.
  • There needs to be a better integration of the talent into the public sector to get the wheels of the economy moving.
  • We have a dynamic economy in South Africa, and we need to switch on those levers that we control to create a more stable environment.
  • In terms of driving a culture of entrepreneurship, it’s vital that we make sure SMEs and startups are supported on all levels in order for them to successfully grow and thrive.
  • In order to get where we want to be, we need to start by decisively saying we want change and are ready to make it happen.

To view Colin’s  full speech, visit

Colin Coleman is a South African banker and public figure. He currently holds a position as a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. A former partner of Goldman Sachs, Colin was Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs for Sub Saharan Africa. He was head of the Goldman Sachs South Africa office from 2000. In 2008, he was named head of the Investment Banking Division for Sub-Saharan Africa. He was named managing director in 2002 and partner in 2010.

He is an independent non-executive member of the Board of The Foschini Group. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the CEO Initiative, and is Co-Chairman of the Youth Employment Service (YES).

Colin was named one of the World Economic Forum’s “Global Leaders for Tomorrow”. He was also a recipient of Harvard Business School’s “Business Statesman Award” on behalf of the Consultative Business Movement and was named one of Euromoney’s World Top Ten “Financing Leaders for the 21st Century”. Colin has been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, France24 and CNBC Africa as an expert on issues such as the market, politics, and banking in South Africa.


Written by Topco Staff Writer


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Written by Topco Staff Writer


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