I have a Dream for SA

Sam van Coller: “I have a dream for SA in 2017…”

Sam van Coller was my first boss, in 1978 after a brief stint on the mines where I had no boss, just a Mine Captain who saw me as a Communist Plot sent by Hoofkantoor to liberate die ‘swaartes’, I joined the Institute for Industrial Relations where he was Director. My learning curve was vertical, I learned, amongst the myriad of changes happening in the SA labour scene, to deeply respect this gentle man and his passion for fairness in South Africa. In 1988 we travelled the length and breadth on Namibia together with his family, another wonderful learning experience.

His Dream for SA resonates. – Intro. By Steuart Pennington

by Sam van Coller*

I have a dream that government, business, labour, the churches, major foundations and NGO’s agree to formulate and promote a national strategy to address Inequality as the enemy number one that is obstructing economic growth and nation building.

The strategy will be based on the following pillars:

  • Recognition that it is critical to achieve the widest possible buy-in to the strategy
  • Acceptance of the principle of redistribution through taxation and allocation of resources in the national budget and at the same time protecting the country’s tax base in order to give the Minister of Finance more flexibility in formulating the national budget.
  • There are two broad areas of Inequality requiring focus: Opportunity & Wealth


  • This is primarily driven by inequality of education. A new strategy on education will be based on acceptance of the following
  • Disproportionate allocation of capital resources in favour of poorer (Quintiles 1,2 and 3) schools and the use of tax incentives to encourage this.
  • Public/private sector partnerships in education particularly in early childhood learning and school management.
  • Setting a goal of expanding access to quality early learning education to reach all children.
  • The principle that no child on leaving school will be denied attendance of a university, college or skills development institution because of lack of funding.
  • Expanding access by disadvantaged children to private and former model C schools by using tax incentives to establish major bursary funds in those school.


  • Acceptance of the principle and a time-framed goal of full title home ownership for all South African citizens including young couples and those living in rural areas.
  • Expanding share ownership as widely as possible by providing a tax regime that encourages employers to introduce share ownership schemes and employee beneficiary trusts that benefit all employees.

And my final dream is that Bafana Bafana, the Springboks and the Protea cricketers become outstanding role models that encourage as many as possible to play sport.

  • Sam van Coller is 79 years old and the owner of a hospitality business in the Waterberg, employing 26 outstanding South Africans. He’s a former Executive Director of SEIFSA and CEO of The Urban Foundation.