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Mansoor Mohammed, Former Executive Director, Economic, Social Development and Tourism




Absence of leadership is the main reason why development does not occur. Bad
choices, endless planning, lack of progress and procrastination characterise some of the
decision-making ills that most leadership teams suffer from. This is a problem in public
institutions that have strong democratic systems.

Many leadership teams trip over common obstacles while making crucial strategic choices. For example, leaders hit an impasse because they can’t look beyond their own group’s interests to see what’s best for the organization overall. Or they never clarify who’s accountable for which decisions, and thus repeatedly revisit their choices! Or they don’t know how to work through conflicts constructively, so discussion degenerates into personal attacks.

The City of Cape Town must note that effective leadership has given rise to development progress in places like China and Singapore. The City must develop a constructive environment for effective decision making. This environment must enable sustainable, innovative and new thinking. Leadership decisions must be consistent and it must be supported so that choices are made with the best interests at heart.

The City has a role to play to create an enabling environment. Cape Town must find a strategic positioning; it must find its rightful place on the African continent. For example, it could position itself as a springboard or soft landing spot for the incoming investors who wish to do business on the African continent. For all of this to happen, Cape Town needs leadership which has been lacking to date.

It is recommended that all Executive Mayoral Committee members, Executive Directors
and Directors be subjected regularly with Leadership development programmes during
their term of office.