IronTree actively participated in the National Shutdown protest on Friday 7 April 2017, believing it imperative to stand together against corruption and the unlawful behaviour of our country’s governing leaders. Employees took to the Main Road to join the human chain, standing together in hope and solidarity, and then told us how they felt about the protest and what motivated them to take part.
For Marc Farnham in technical support, taking part in the human chain was a way to express how he feels about the state of the country: “South Africa has taken too much strain; change is needed to better our future and our country.” He was encouraged by the way the protest brought together many people of different walks of life and how they stood peacefully together, uniting for a good cause. He said he felt amazing to be part of the stand and, like his colleagues Adnaan Fillies, Gregory Langeveldt and Jared Knoetze felt proud to be South African that day.
Fellow support technician, Saeed Hassan, joined the human chain because he felt South Africa could be so much better than it is right now: “We’ve all been suffering since Zuma let our country’s economy fall. I'd like to see a real leader being elected, one who has the interests of the country at heart, not money for his own pocket.“ Saeed felt better for having taken part with the people of South Africa, and noticed how diverse the participation was: “I was proud to stand with others and that our company allowed us to take part. Judging by news reports, it achieved nothing in terms of getting Zuma to stand down, but as people we felt united, and had a lot of fun.”
Colleague in technical support, Grant van Staden, said he was motivated to join the protest following the news that South Africa had been downgraded to Junk Status by credit rating agencies, and the fall in the Rand. While the effect of the protest isn’t yet certain, he hopes it will encourage Zuma to step down: “At least it made headlines around the world that South Africa needs help.”
Sales consultant Alex Johnson is tired of the way Zuma has been destroying the integrity of our country. He hopes for a leader who knows how to make a success of a country, and said that by joining his fellow citizens in protest it felt good to be standing up against corruption. “It also set an example to young people, showing that if you stand up for your rights you can accomplish a lot. It doesn’t matter what race or religion we each belong to – if we stand united together we can accomplish something good.”
Waranita Kennedy in IronTree’s sales department said she never thought she’d get involved in politics, but when the president of a country has so many hundred corruption charges, and rape charges, against him, she would do what she could to try and bring about positive change for her future, and especially her daughter’s. “I want a respectable president who will stand up for us and our rights. I know my daughter will be proud of her mama, standing up for something good to make it better for us all.”
Colleague in sales, Samantha Stegman, was motivated to participate by her concern about the state of South Africa. She said she found it liberating to be part of something big and extremely important. “I felt something had to be done,” she said. “No matter how different and diverse we are, we all have the same needs.”
Like the many thousands of people who took to the streets in protest, the message from IronTree was unified and clear: Zuma is not serving his people and would gain some respect by stepping down to allow a new leader in.