BACKSTORY: Outa’s Wayne Duvenage
We question CEO of Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse Wayne Duvenage
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Reduce that which is initially discussed and agreed to in writing, to provide clarity and reduce ambiguity or misunderstandings from the start, more so for yourself than the other party.
What was your first job?
I was dispatch supervisor at Avis Car Rental at Durban Airport in 1985.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
R900. Paid my rent, noted what I needed to eat and get to work for the rest of the month, and partied away the rest.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
Force yourself to take every opportunity to save and invest in your future, both financially and in health.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Trust — the confidence or trust we place in situations, people and concepts with little evaluation. Being too trusting too early has often been costly for me.
How would you fix Eskom?
Engage seriously with labour and reach an understanding that productivity levels need to be achieved. Seek critical skills inside and outside the organisation to maintain and maximise plant output. Review every contract entered into since 2008. Engage with each finance house that took up bond requests from Eskom between 2007 and 2018. This would position Eskom’s executive to review the Ts&Cs of these bonds, with the outcome to have the lenders become part of the solution to Eskom’s debt woes. There’s something immoral about throwing bonds into a dubious environment. And introduce a comprehensive programme to address ongoing corruption and maladministration.
How do you cope with load-shedding?
Live with it and plan to remove its impact as much as possible — hopefully off-grid in due course.
What is your biggest regret?
That I didn’t spend more time when I could have with a relative who has passed away.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I’ve realised the value of daily meditation and deep mindful reflection in addressing burnout and everyday life challenges.
What has been the worst purchase you have ever made?
My first car — a used panel van. The dealer saw me coming.
What is something you would go back and tell your younger self that would impress him?
That he would one day take on a substantive challenge — one that virtually all his peers and friends would suggest at the outset is an impossible task or a lost cause — that was hard fought and won.
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
Place the public and economic prosperity ahead of the political party in every decision I make.
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