BACKSTORY: Milpark Business School’s Cobus Oosthuizen
We question the Dean at Milpark Business School Cobus Oosthuizen
What was your first job?
Learner official at St Helena Gold Mines, Welkom.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
Around R1,000 a month before tax — I spent R110 on my first car payment … the rest went to living expenses and entertainment.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
Consistency beats intensity.
What are you reading at the moment?
Mindset, authored by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck.
What’s the one book everyone should read?
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
Was there ever a point at which you wanted to trade it all in for a different career? And, if so, what would that career be?
Yes … computer programming.
How would you fix Eskom?
Unbundle and privatise generation, transmission and distribution. Then start from the ground up in turning each entity around. Not an easy feat, though.
What is your biggest regret?
Leaving the mining industry to sell insurance.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I am actually an introvert.
What has been your worst purchase?
A set of "World Spectrum" encyclopaedias.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
I wish I’d invested in property much earlier in my life.
If you were president, what would you change tomorrow?
Creating change requires people … in this instance, wise people, to create pathways that enable individual and social events to shape a preferred future in which all our citizens will benefit. I’d surround myself with a team from diverse disciplines: the top minds in sociology, anthropology, psychology, technology, biology, climatology, physics, economics, agriculture, energy, minerals and so on. Call them the "Genesis Commission" to personify a new beginning for our country … A council of the wise, so to speak. Then, in a transdisciplinary fashion, start with our country’s most pressing problems at micro, meso, macro and supra level, and craft pragmatic solutions.