BACKSTORY: Bayport’s Alfred Ramosedi
We question Alfred Ramosedi, CEO of Bayport Financial Services
What’s your top tip for doing a deal?
Do your research thoroughly, get to know who you are dealing with and what the problems are. Do not go there and ask people what their burning issues are.
What was your first job?
Assistant accountant at the then Vaal Reefs Mining Co in Orkney, near Klerksdorp.
How much was your first pay cheque and how did you spend it?
Before tax it was R5,000. I bought my mom a new dress, and I took my grandmother to Wimpy. I only bought new clothes the second month.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
Be easy on yourself and have lots of patience.
How would you fix Eskom?
I would do three things: reconstitute the executive and management team through to lower management; sign the independent power producers into law now and incentivise consumers to get off the grid; and renegotiate each and every Eskom contract.
Do you think we need SAA?
SAA is needed but it has to be linked to strategic areas: growth of tourism, alignment to businesses, supporting other transport requirements, et cetera.
What is your biggest regret?
I did not study early enough. By the time I was studying for a master’s it was hard to get into it.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I know a lot of music and am a closet DJ.
What has been your worst purchase?
Buying an electronic diary a week before buying a BlackBerry. I never used it.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
Buying a house for investment earlier — some time in 2005.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Fame … when it goes it becomes lonely.
What would you tell your younger self that would impress them?
Having worked hard and persevered, I made it.
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?
When the bank I was working at went under curatorship, I wanted to go back to work in a different industry.
How do you cope with load-shedding?
We have accepted that it is here. So at home we cook using gas, we wash using basins and we spend lots of time talking.
If you were Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
First, prosecute all the people who have plundered SA’s funds.