Former opposition chief whip and former ambassador to Thailand


A message of hope, potential, growth and new opportunities in the light of a changing political landscape in South Africa.

I believe in the future of South Africa. Having been involved in public affairs for a generation as an Attorney, Town Councillor, Provincial Councillor, Member of Parliament, frontline Opposition Spokesperson on major portfolios and as our country’s ambassador to Thailand, I know that we have always teetered on the brink of disaster.

It has been five minutes to midnight my whole adult life. Now is no different, except that I have never been as optimistic about the future as I am now. Given the mood of depression and apprehension about the future, this statement may surprise.

The reason for my optimism is that political change is sweeping our country; suddenly we are becoming a competitive democracy. As the previously totally dominant ANC loses momentum, the Opposition has grown stronger, making impressive gains in local government throughout South Africa. It is quite possible and becoming increasingly likely that after the next general election in 2019, the ANC poll below fifty per cent of the votes. This will mean the formation of a new coalition government.

A new government will mean new faces, new policies, new energy, and new opportunities for people and business to forge ahead, freed from the shackles of cadre deployment and nepotism. Corruption will be curbed as the emphasis changes towards making sure that ordinary people make progress and share in the new prosperity.

I feel a powerful urge to wake our people up to the fascinating potential waiting to be grasped and to help business, in particular, as the growth engine, to make the most of the new opportunities created by South Africa’s new politics.

Douglas Gibson
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Douglas is a versatile speaker on a number of topics, a writer, columnist
and hopes soon to be a published fiction author.