'Active citizens will build the future'

A better future is only possible through the participation of an "active citizenry", said Old Mutual SA director Crispin Sonn yesterday.

"It is my sense that we enter an era where South Africa is once again sitting up, asking questions, engaging and demonstrating support for what they (the citizens) like and showing displeasure in what they don't like.

"... An active citizenry that will be considered and contemplative of its active role in holding the state, business, and possibly media to account," Sonn said.

Addressing the South African National Editor's Forum, Sonn said a vocal "citizenry" would be made possible by a government open to dialogue.

By allowing space for dialogue and by publicly debating issues, the government would instill a sense of hope in the people it governed, Sonn said.

He named the "fairly contested election, a democratically elected president, promises of building a nation and creating opportunities for all, and signs of a citizenry that is emerging from its slumber with a commitment to active engagement" as factors that instilled hope in South Africa.

"The previous sense of anger, disappointment, frustration and despair is now replaced with hope and anticipation of renewed sense that a better future is possible for South Africans," he said.

Challenging South Africans to consider roles they could play to ensure a better future for all, Sonn said Old Mutual was committed to creating "sustainable employment" for South Africans. - Sapa